OFFPRICE Show Holds Its Own in Las Vegas
Dedicated to bargain apparel, accessories and footwear, OFFPRICE Show may have gained its momentum during the economic downtown, but it continues to have a strong presence even as things begin to turn around.
Held Aug. 19-22 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, the event spanned 125,000 net square feet and attracted approximately 500 exhibiting companies, which is on par with its February numbers of 126,000 square feet and 497 exhibiting companies.
August attendance was also close to the 11,500 that attended the previous event, according to show officials.
The show has seen boon times during the recession, with both of its biannual editions being honored as fastest-growing shows at the upcoming TSNN Awards: Celebrating Trade Show Excellence Nov. 2-4 in Louisville, Ky.
Owned by U.K.-based Tarsus Group, OFFPRICE was part of the Las Vegas's biannual Fashion Week, which included events at several venues across town such as the Las Vegas Convention Center and Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.
"We are getting a wider variety of customers across all product categories," said David Lapidos, executive vice president of OFFPRICE, noting that the show has become a reliable source for retailers to connect the top brands and move the excess goods.
He added, "Buyers go to other shows to see the latest fashions and they come here to write orders."
Lapidos said that he had to turn exhibitors away for the August show and that more than 70 percent of the showfloor already is sold for the February show that will be located on the second floor at the Sands Expo Center.
He added that he also anticipates a "dynamic increase" in the footwear segment at the next year's event.
Exhibitor Sam Sutton with Sutton Industries said he had a good show, but he still feels the lack of consumer confidence as buyers continue to be cautious and focus on stocking the basics and keeping inventories low.
"At the same time, people are looking for novelty, and that's a good sign,” he added.
Attendee Polly Stemwedel, a buyer for Lentz Department Store, said she usually focuses on comfortable and casual children's and women's apparel, but this time, part of her budget was allocated for jewelry and accessories.
To help her test out new product lines, she added that she wished that the purchasing minimums were smaller.
While cautiously optimistic about her business, Stemwedel said, "I am ready for things to start picking up."
OFFPRICE will return Feb. 17–20 to Las Vegas.