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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6 Western & English Today SUMMER 2018 G rowth and a unique experience are the themes of the Dallas Market Center's annual shows. At its recent Apparel & Accessories and Western Market in March, DMC saw an increase of 16 percent in new buyer attendance and a double-digit increase in apparel store attendance, reports Cindy Morris, president and CEO of Dallas Market Center. "It's a very unique opportunity for buyers to discover new merchandise from the widest array of showrooms, beginning with leading Western manufacturers," Morris says of the March market, adding that buyers are seeking expansion of product offerings to stay competitive, in particular one-of-a-kind products that consumers can't find elsewhere. e DMC sees that as critical to retailers' success. "We promote the fact that only in Dallas will you find products across the spectrum, so you can better assess the direction trends are heading and identify new opportunities," says Morris, citing DMC's growing efforts to also offer educational seminars, trend tours, and fashion shows to help guide retailers. "e business is moving so fast that it's critical retailers review new products, styles, trends and also think about how to make their store a destination." e March market included live music and two fashion shows, for contemporary and Western apparel. DMC had more than 1,000 attendees for the Western show, carried out with high energy and highlighting silversmith Clint Orms as the featured designer. "It's great to see Western buyers reviewing the trends, conducting commerce, and having fun," Morris says. "Despite the attention given to e-commerce, let's remember that nine out of 10 retail purchases are still made in a brick-and-mortar store," Morris adds. "e store remains a destination in cities and towns across the U.S., and our customers are deeply committed to the future of the physical store. But the store is changing, and it's all the more reason why manufacturers and retailers and marketplaces like ours are adapting to meet the needs of the next generation of retail." Coming up, DMC will host its annual June Apparel & Accessories Market (6-9) and Total Home & Gi Market (20-26), followed by the Apparel & Accessories and Western Market in August (22-25). dallasmarketcenter.com INDUSTRY NEWS The March Markets At Dallas Market Center AETA Trade Shows Incubator Program W hen it comes to the English and Western equestrian industry, the possibilities are endless for business owners. And perhaps no one knows this better than the American Equestrian Trade Association, an organization dedicated to growing equestrian businesses by connecting artists/manufacturers with retailers through exposure and education at its biannual trade shows in Oaks, Pennsylvania. To aid in its mission, AETA has developed an incubator program that, since its inception in January 2017, has been offered to five to 10 new industry wholesalers at each show. e program's goal: to promote emerging businesses by offering them booth spaces at reduced rates they can afford, which, in turn, allows attending retailers to connect with new vendors. Participants must go through an application process with review from AETA board members to determine need and eligibility. en they are allotted an 8x10 booth space at a reduced rate, priced at $500, as of the upcoming August 2018 show. "is is truly for the companies to help them get moving and hopefully be long-term exhibitors," says AETA trade show manager Sally O'Shea. "It's a way for them to introduce their product line to other exhibitors, sales reps, the retail stores that come through, and it's also a way for them to interact with other industry colleagues. e Incubator program is a unique program that just seems to really help the industry." e benefits of such an incubator program were first realized by AETA president Sharon Perrin, who came up with the idea. For Perrin's own small business, tradeshow exposure had been integral to its success. "AETA is about helping the equestrian industry grow. We're hoping to elevate those smaller companies so that they can be a part of the show in the future," Perrin says. "e buyers get a chance to meet some of the other smaller retailers they wouldn't otherwise meet, and the manufacturers get that opportunity to grow at less of an entry cost." aeta.us —Lindsay Whelchel PHOTOGRAPHY: COURTESY DALLAS MARKET CENTER

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