By  on August 6, 2009

Fashion Industry Gallery is taking relationship marketing to heart.

Executives at FIG have mounted a new marketing push to get the word out about their retailer tour program, in which they take buyers on personal tours customized for each store’s needs.

“We are always about customer service, and hospitality and trying to help them have the best time here as buyers,” said Shelli Mers, director. “With my background as a buyer and our staff being familiar with the showrooms and lines, we offer to meet with the buyers and find out their store concept, their competition and what lines they carry, and we’ll take them around and introduce them to reps and help them find new lines.”

FIG is focused on contemporary and bridge fashion, accessories and shoes, including a large representation of Los Angeles brands like Trina Turk and Citizens of Humanity. The next women’s show runs Aug. 13 to 15, with a men’s show Aug. 16 to 18.

Mers expects the show will be comparable to June, drawing 500 to 700 buyers.

“Our exhibitors and showroom owners are booking all their regulars and some new stores,” she said. “I’ve heard there is a lot of need for immediates for folks that postponed and canceled orders and are now out of goods.”

Several resources will resume showing at FIG after missing some shows, including Isabella Fiore, 12th Street by Cynthia Vincent and Odd Molly, she added.

Aiming to build traffic, FIG is offering free hotel rooms to select buyers new to the venue and arranging discount rates at nearby luxury hotels, including The Fairmont Dallas, The Joule, The Stoneleigh Hotel, Hotel ZaZa and W Dallas - Victory.

“Economically, the market here does make so much sense,” Mers reasoned. “Between the two buildings [FIG and FashionCenterDallas], there are not many lines that you can’t find. A lot of stores think they have to go to New York or Los Angeles, and they are not aware that almost all the lines are here or down the street.”

Next up is FIG Finale, a joint clearance sale Aug. 28 and 29, of at least 35 area boutiques, including V.O.D. and Elements. Some showrooms also sell samples. “Last time we had over 2,000 people, and typically August is better than January,” Mers said.

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