OFFPRICE Show Continues Growth Streak in Attendees, Size

February 15, 2012

Even though some fashion trade shows appear to be experiencing slight revivals in participation this year, the event devoted to bargain apparel remains ahead of that pack.

Enter the OFFPRICE Show, the only trade show in the U.S. dedicated to discount fashion, which has been a booming segment since the economic downturn took hold a few years ago.

Owned by U.K.-based Tarsus Group, the event continued its steady, year-over-year growth pattern, as it kicked off Las Vegas’s biannual Fashion Week, which included trade shows at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Venetian Casino, Hotel & Resort and Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

Held at the Sands Expo & Convention Center Feb. 10-13, OFFPRICE boasted a 5-6 percent increase in participation and size, with approximately 11,500 attendees and 497 exhibiting companies. occupying 126,500 net square feet of exhibit space, according to show officials.

Last August, the show attracted 11,000 attendees and 485 exhibitors, spanning 122,750 sq. ft.

Although the show has benefited from a poor economic climate, OFFPRICE will always attract a strong following if the “new normals” in consumer spending are any indication, said Steve Krogulski, CEO of Tarsus Expositions USA.

“Our segment did well when the economy wasn’t doing well, but it’s doing well now because people are buying smarter, and everyone’s looking for value …it’s a mindset now,” Krogulski said.

He added, “That’s the reason OFFPRICE is always going to be there because it’s a channel that helps move excess goods in the market and we’ve become a valuable source for retailers to find those goods.”

Besides participation and size, the event also experienced growth in its newer product categories, including accessories and footwear, Krogulski said. Plans are to continue adding more categories in the effort to make OFFPRICE a one-stop-shop for discount-minded retailers, he added.

But the newest addition to the showfloor was The Connection, a designated lounge and networking area offering free Wi-Fi, as well as educational sessions that addressed digitally oriented topics, including social media, e-commerce and how to harness the Internet.

As an extension of the show’s deeper foray into social media, the intention is to grow The Connection and its offerings going forward, Krogulski said.

OFFPRICE’s showfloor sported colorful booths displaying a diverse array of clothing, accessories, footwear and fashion-related merchandise. Overall, exhibitors were pleased with the show.

“This month’s OFFPRICE was great, as our sales increased in comparison to last year,” said long-time Exhibitor Jennifer Castillo, sales manager of Rosy Loves.

She added, “We had a lot of positive feedback from first-time customers and clients, we made deals with three retail chain stores and we were able to negotiate private labels for new clients. In addition, we had the opportunity to meet customers from around the world and hopefully do business with them in the near future. The show was such a success that we believe our sales will be even better at the August show.”

Retailer Peter Ferraro, owner of Plaza Surf & Sports, said the show was a valuable part of his busy trade show itinerary.

“It’s always a good show,” Ferraro said. “I’m finding everything I need and things are in clear sections. We always try to mix in closeouts with our name brands, so it’s a good place to find different vendors and products.”

OFFPRICE will return Aug. 19-22 to the Sands Expo Convention Center.

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