Atlanta Apparel’s first 2022 market broke records for the largest-ever number of exhibitors and largest retailer attendance at a February apparel market since 2016. The apparel sourcing event continued upward growth across all categories in both temporary exhibits and showrooms, with reports of exhibitors showing and buyers sourcing elevated amounts of fall inventory, which took place February 1 – 5 at AmericasMart Atlanta.
“Atlanta Apparel kicked off 2022 with a bang – the positive energy carried throughout all 11 floors of permanent showrooms and temporary exhibits,” Caron Stover, International Market Centers (IMC) SVP, apparel, said. “Orders were being written throughout the building and trend education was highly attended, further establishing Atlanta as a leader in the wholesale apparel landscape.”
Attendance at the February apparel market has more than fully recovered, growing some 10 percent over February 2021, and totaling retail visitors in numbers not seen since Atlanta Apparel’s last record-breaking attendance market. International Market Centers (IMC) welcomed a more diverse geographic range of buyers this February than in recent years with continued gains from the Northeast, alongside Atlanta’s solid attendance from the Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and International.
Largest-ever Showroom and Temporary Exhibit Resources
Atlanta Apparel exceeded historic resource numbers this February as it showcased its largest-ever brand collection with over 60 newcomers among the market’s 400 temporary exhibits and 500+ permanent showrooms. Place Showroom, which relocated and expanded its showroom of 28 women’s apparel, social occasion, shoes and accessories brands, noticed a positive impact on business in the new and larger location.
“The market was fantastic and probably our best to date. We had a great turnout, lots of appointments, and buyers loved our new showroom,” Maria Pozza, sales manager, said. “We saw more new clients than we have in the past and we had sales on every line in the showroom.”
Atlanta Apparel Buyers Sourcing for Children’s and Early Fall Styles
Buyers came to Atlanta Apparel from far and wide in search of new clothing, accessories and shoes for Spring / Summer, especially in the popular children’s category, “mommy and me.”
Whitney Byrd of Ollie Cate children’s and women’s boutique in Daphne, Alabama, visited Atlanta Apparel for the first time for the February Market and said her sourcing trip was “the perfect timing in the best location for our business.” “I heard great things from several people I know about Atlanta Apparel. We were able to source our most requested items, summer toys, swim and towels, sibling sets and mommy and me,” Byrd said.
A number of children’s brands reported strong business with healthy order writing for full collections including apparel, accessories, and décor on floor 13, which presented 25 Children’s temporary exhibits alongside the 65 children’s showrooms showcasing a full range of apparel, shoes, accessories and décor. Lisa Morris, owner of LE LA LO, a modern “mommy and me” apparel and lifestyle brand that moved to the Children’s temporary exhibits from the women’s apparel neighborhood, showcased her entire collection and noticed higher sales volumes. “The show was amazing. This is our first time showing on the Children’s floor and I feel really good about it. I feel like our customer resides here,” Morris said. “We are up day-to-day and our orders are bigger. We are a lifestyle brand and in Children’s at Atlanta Apparel, buyers have wanted everything in our line.”
Attendance and Energy Remained High at Market Educational Seminars and Events
In-person education and market events kept the positive momentum during the five-day buying event, which began with outstanding attendance at the co-located live model trend demonstration and PANTONE Colors of the Year market party on Wednesday, February 2. The momentum continued through packed Mid-Day Soiree daily educational sessions, including the JuniperMarket by IMC session, in which buyers learned more about IMC’s newly launched B2B ecommerce platform.
“Buyers and suppliers are ready to return face-to-face to celebrate the apparel industry, to network and to learn about trend direction,” added Stover. “Our first market of 2022 had incredible turnout and feedback, and we are expecting April to raise the bar even more.”The next Atlanta Apparel Market is April 11 – 15, 2022 (temporary exhibits April 11 – 13) at AmericasMart Atlanta. Both temporaries and showrooms will be open for an earlier date pattern to accommodate religious holidays later in the week, with all exhibits opening together on Monday, April 11. Temporaries will run Monday through Wednesday, and showrooms will be open Monday through Friday. Las Vegas Apparel is Atlanta Apparel’s semiannual West Coast fashion sourcing market.