OFFPRICE Celebrates 40th Show Anniversary by Feting First-year Exhibitors
OFFPRICE, a trade show for retail buyers and off-price specialists, celebrated its 40th show and 20 years in business Aug.16-19 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas. Approximately 26 of the shows have been held at the Sands.
What started in 1995 in a few rooms stripped of furniture at the former Debbie Reynolds Hotel has grown into a thriving show and an integral part of the Fashion Week that takes over Las Vegas twice a year.
“That first year, we had 24 exhibitors and we still have 15 of them today,” said Todd Fabos, marketing manager at OFFPRICE.
Owned by U.K.-based Tarsus Group, the show had been holding steady over the past several years, with about 132,000 square feet, 500 exhibitor s and 8,000 retailers. Recently it’s been growing its Cash & Carry section, which is scheduled to expand into an adjoining ballroom next year.
The anniversary year has been marked with recognizing members of the OFFPRICE community through publications and social media.
“The months leading up to the event were filled with great stories and memories the OP community has shared over the years,” said Stephen Krogulski, CEO.
He added, “We are all looking forward to building upon our past successes and growing the importance of OFFPRICE as the premier destination for finding value at the right price.”
The show paid tribute to first-year exhibitors with special plaques and gave a red-carpet welcome to a buyer that had been attending since before it was an official event.
The Show Party featured a live band and a cocktail reception that went well into the night.
The floor was buzzing too. Fueled by the prospects of strong fourth quarter and overall improving economy, purchasing activity was brisk even on the last day.
“Fall and winter are selling extremely well,” Fabos said. “Also, we’re seeing an increasing interest in designer name brands from smaller boutiques. Name brands are not the first thing people think about when they think about OFFPRICE, but many of our exhibitors carry them.”
Long-time exhibitor Terry Murphy with JB Hus Groups enjoyed the celebration and was happy with the attendance on the floor.
“We’ve met people from Canada and South America,” he said. When asked about how well swimming suites are selling for winter, he said that the season is just starting in South America, hence his orders from Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. Up north, it’s swimming classes.
Discount children’s apparel was on the agenda for buyer Lashanta Campbell Dugay with Kelly’s Home Centre. “I’m shopping for both fall and spring,” she said. “It’s a great time to find bargains.” Dugay noted that, while she did find what she was looking for, it would have been easier if children’s items were grouped together.