Outdoor Retailer, Dallas Market Center Executives Share 2018 Plans

It’s not just brands and retailers that are feeling the major changes in the footwear industry of late. Executives hosting trade shows and events are sensing a need to adapt to shifts, as well.

Dee Gratz Jones, vice president of apparel and accessories leasing for the Dallas Market Center, suggested some significant changes to take place next year.

“In 2018, we look forward to continuing to grow and expand our footwear resources by adding exhibitors and by continuing marketing efforts as well as creating new avenues of promotion,” she said. Some of those include “but are not limited to, partnering with brands and fashion/footwear influencers to present trends and capitalize on the opportunities available for footwear at Dallas Market Center.”

Jones added that Dallas Market Center is well-positioned right now to engage with industry players. “As more stores create a lifestyle presentation, we see a big opportunity for footwear companies to reach more store types and introduce the idea of footwear to [Western] retailers, contemporary apparel stores and even gift retailers,” she said.

And transition and transformation are afoot for Outdoor Retailer, too. Jennifer Holcomb, Outdoor Retailer’s senior marketing director, said that some of the biggest changes for the show, already reflected this year and expected to continue, are related to the event’s timing, with emphasis being placed on the beginning of the buying cycle. Holcomb said retailers can now see the entire range of products that are available and gain essential insight in a timely manner. “They see what’s possible, and they analyze their sell-through so that when they are ready to make their orders, they can maximize their open-to-buy dollars and minimize order changes,” she said.

Holcomb said brands benefit from early retailer feedback to guide forecasting as well as production: “The buying is the same, the deadlines haven’t changed; retailers are just more informed — earlier.”

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