Western & English Today

Summer 2018

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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SUMMER 2018 Western & English Today 5 I N T H E D I G I TA L AG E — W I T H instant access to information at our fin- gertips via smartphones and tablets and overexposure to content being shared across various platforms — is the traditional trade show still relevant? Or, are websites and digital catalogs taking its place? While collecting data for our 2018 State of the Industry Report (page 14), we found that 74 percent of respondents use the Internet to shop for wholesale products. However, almost half buy less than 10 percent of their inventory through manufacturers' web- sites, and 69 percent have attended or are plan- ning to attend regular markets this year. Addi- tionally, 43 percent say that trade shows are their primary resource for finding new vendors. So what makes market so valuable to them? To start with the obvious, it affords you access to a lot of inventory in one place. While brows- ing other online stores or scrolling through Instagram can prove worthwhile, walking a market is the fastest way to find out what's new and what's popular for the upcoming sea- son. Plus, you get to see what you're ordering in person. You can inspect the quality of the cras- manship, feel the fabrics, and hear firsthand about the inspiration for the designs. Beyond the personal shopping experience, market fosters a sense of a community. It's a place to connect. To get to know the people behind the products. To compare notes with fellow retailers. Aer all, every business is built on relationships. Most important, markets are educational. ey want your business to be just as success- ful as you do, and they are there to help — with sourcing tours and panel Q&As led by industry vets, seminars on social media and retail trends, fashion shows and networking events. So don't miss out on the whole experience. Start planning a summer trade show getaway (see our calendar on page 32), and be sure to take full advantage of all it has to offer when you get there. EDITOR'S NOTE MARKET VALUE By Holly Henderson, Editorial Director

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