The biggest draw at the Pool tradeshow appeared to be the Cash and Carry section, where buyers purchased product on the spot, with no minimum orders, for immediate sale.
Cash and Carry, which launched in January 2009, has more than doubled the number of its vendors to more than 40 since its debut. It gives retailers an opportunity to sample manageable quantities of new labels and was a destination for buyers at the Las Vegas Convention Center, who are keeping inventory and buying budgets under strict control.
“We’re always looking for novelty and for value, and things are still tight for everyone,” said Betty Brix, a buyer for Ross Stores Inc., the off-pricer with units in 27 states. “The smaller shows can be a great way to see emerging labels and pick up trends early.”
The intimate nature of Pool continued to appeal to exhibitors new to the Las Vegas shows, such as the recently launched women’s lines Juleselin Organics, stone&honey and Hedo, all of which showed for the first time at Pool. The cost is $3,000 for a regular booth and $750 for the Cash and Carry area, making Pool a less expensive option than larger venues.
“I’ve written three orders and have already broken even,” said Julie Burnbaum, owner of Juleselin Organics, based in Novato, Calif., which wholesales organic cotton dresses and outerwear for between $28 and $148. “Anytime you can generate future business by getting in front of a large group of buyers like this, it’s worth the money.”
With the men’s exhibitors located at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for the first time, Pool organizers shifted the mix of the show toward women to capture the women’s buyers walking the adjacent WWDMAGIC floor. About 70 percent of the brands at Pool were women’s, with 30 percent dedicated to men’s wear. This edition of Pool remained the same size as the previous, with about 200 exhibitors.
“Foot traffic is pretty steady, but it’s about quality over quantity and important business right now — we’ve seen buyers are from doors like Macy’s, Urban Outfitters and J.C. Penney,” said show manager Stephanie Seeley. “That’s important us and to our exhibitors.”
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