MAGIC Market Week Finishes Just Shy of 1 Million Square Feet

February 24, 2014

From vintage splendor to comfortable yoga pants, the latest fashions sizzled at Advanstar’s MAGIC Market Week, held Feb. 18-20 and took over the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

After a slower-than-expected holiday season and several severe storms around the nation that impacted buying patterns, the winter edition of the event came in strong with robust showfloor activity across its 10 trade shows that focus on men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, swimwear, footwear, accessories and sourcing. 

“We’re just shy of 1 million square feet, which is about five percent up from last February’s show,” said Allison Lombardo, vice president of marketing for Advanstar. The event featured about 5,000 brands and attracted approximately 65,000 attendees, on par with last year.

The fastest growing area this year was active wear yoga at WWD Magic, adding some 15 percent since last year and proving that women indeed crave the clothes appropriate both for the yoga studio and everyday life.

Juniors/young contemporary area grew by 10 percent. At PROJECT, the grooming area launched last year grew from eight exhibitors to 23, adding a new lifestyle dimension to an already hip environment.

Over 400 exhibitors participated in Made in USA areas, also an increase from previous editions.

Reaching a new stage of maturity, the show’s Shop the Floor Web site has gone to being an online showcase for brands exhibiting at MAGIC to a full ecommerce platform. Buyers still can use it to research products and brands before the show, but they also can place orders throughout the year.

“It’s an established brand now,” Lombardo said. “And it’s a lot more robust in terms of a shopping experience for the retailer.”

With so much space to cover, finding just the right thing is a constant challenge for many retailers. The show offers several tools to ease the navigation, from Shop the Floor to a mobile app to guided buyer tours to a pre-show planner that recommends the shopping experience for different types of buyers.

For VIP retailers, MAGIC Market Week Select offers show guidance, private car service, on-site lounges with free food and meeting space, and a dedicated retail relations team.

Pre-show planning tools were helpful to buyer Leslie Butler with Schuler Shoes, who used the app to research the brands and also map her way around the show.

She had heard about pop singer Fergie launching her footwear collection at FN Platform, but didn’t stop by to check it out.

“It may make a difference for someone in the junior business, but I am in the comfort business. I was mostly focused on finding good opportunities,” she said. Shopping for the fall of 2014, Butler said she felt optimistic and noted that her budgets were up from last year.

For exhibitor Michael Wasserman with Dizzy Inc. it was still about last-minute orders for spring.

“We noticed that for the past five months, many buyers have been waiting,” he said. “But now they can’t wait any longer. We’re seeing a lot of close deliveries.” Wasserman said that the traffic seemed to up at the show, adding, “It may be our location across the aisle from Desigual, but we’ve had a very good show.”

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