By Kevin Zimmerman
“A must for any apparel retailer and merchandiser” is how the trade show OFFPRICE promotes its fall event in Las Vegas. It is hard to argue with such a statement, seeing as the cornerstone event – being held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center August 15-18 – drew some 8,460 retailers during its spring show at the same site. “Our retention rate is very high,” says Stephen Krogulski, CEO of the OFFPRICE Show, which is owned by U.K.-based Tarsus Group. “It is a little early to tell at this point, but we expect a similar crowd at the fall show.”
This year’s earlier edition, held February 15-18, recorded a 5.5% increase in retailer attendance, the largest percentage gain in over seven years and resulting in an all-time attendance record. Coinciding with Las Vegas Fashion Week did not hurt either, Krogulski notes. “Retailers are already scoring deals, looking to take advantage of what will be available for the winter months,” he adds, noting that the show will be focusing on outerwear and cold weather gear. “What makes this particular show unique is that it tends to focus on immediate buys. Retailers see something at the show they like, they place an order, and it ships – often before the show has even wrapped up.”
In addition, based on inquiries, Krogulski expects to see a lot of growth in the footwear category at the fall edition, as well as in the overall cash-and-carry business. Attendees can expect off-price specialists offering goods at 20-70% below wholesale costs. Besides Vegas being, after all, Vegas, the CEO notes that OFFPRICE Vegas will overlap with nine other trade shows – including another Las Vegas Fashion Week – over six days. OFFPRICE, he adds, is the first of these.
While OFFPRICE also maintains a strong presence in New York (with the latest edition having run May 3-5) and Miami (June 28-30), the pair of Las Vegas shows easily dwarf its east coast cousins: New York featured 65 booths, and Miami is expected to offer 100 booths – while Las Vegas typically features some 1,300. The fact that the Vegas show is anticipated to spotlight 500 exhibitors – and covers a 132,000 net-square-feet space – is further evidence of just how big the show is. “The scope and depth of products that we offer at the Las Vegas events make those shows real destinations,” Krogulski says. “We have just about every category that is out there, which also makes a real difference to buyers who may not be able to make it to New York or Miami.”
Exhibitors will include Klayman Pants Co./Off-Price Wearhouse: Impulse Off Price Apparel; Milan Clothing, Inc.; New York Apparel; and Wise Buys. Categories include farm supply; sporting goods; drug stores; dollar stores; importer/exporters; and college book stores. And attendee make-up will truly be international, with exhibitors expected from Argentina, Brazil and Jamaica to Finland, Lebanon and New Zealand. A 10 x 10 booth at OFFPRICE Las Vegas costs $3,680; a cash-and-carry booth is priced at $2,685; a footwear booth package goes for $2,635; and a service provider booth package costs $1,785. Details on these and other booth packages can be found at www.offpriceshow.com/lasvegas/exhibitor/booth-pricing.
Overall, Krogulski says he is pleased with the amount of attention and attendance at this year’s various OFFPRICE shows. “New York was very solid,” he reports. “The city serves as the checkpoint for some of the larger stores in the market, and there were terrific offerings that we as the off-price community could take advantage of. There was a very real appetite for the goods that were on exhibit.” Meanwhile, the Miami show was on pace to realize the 60 to 70 vendors and over 1,000 attendees that he said he expected in our last issue. To register, or for more information on OFFPRICE Las Vegas, visit: www.offpriceshow.com/lasvegas.