By  on January 26, 1994

NEW YORK -- Children's wear retailers are getting two new reasons to travel to Las Vegas: two trade shows, one sponsored in part by the Childrenswear Manufacturers Association, and the other by The Larkin Group, which puts on four children's shows a year in New York.

The CMA, in partnership with the Children's Trade Expo, will be sponsoring a trade show for the first time, and it will result this fall in what CMA president Stan Birken calls "a children's wear super show in Las Vegas." Birken, who also is executive vice president of Girls Will Be Girls, here, made the announcement last week at CMA's annual Retail Awards dinner. Some 285 manufacturers and retailers attended the dinner, held at the New York Palace Hotel and sponsored by the fibers division of Wellman Inc.

Birken said the children's apparel industry needs a show that unites the East Coast with the West Coast and the big manufacturers with the smaller ones.

Children's Trade Expo has been producing a children's wear show twice a year in Los Angeles since October 1991. While the show has been lauded for presentation, marketing and promotions, seminars and public relations, its exhibitor and retail attendance has been significantly less than that of New York's IKFS show.

"We are excited that CMA is going to endorse our show," said Kathy Browning in a telephone interview. Browning, along with her partner Candace Cohen, will continue to produce the show. "It has always been our goal to create a national show that caters to all types of manufacturers and retailers. Now with CMA's participation, we feel even more strongly that we will reach that goal."

Browning said the specialty store segment of the children's wear industry is being addressed by current trade shows, but she says the new Children's Trade Expo will enlist department store and mass merchant trade as well. Manufacturers will be encouraged to have a corporate presence, and reps handling smaller manufacturers will also be welcomed.

For its upcoming March 14-16 back-to-school show, CTE has changed its venue from Los Angeles's Convention Center to the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. "Vegas is the place to be if you want a truly national show. It is affordable, accessible and appealing to a lot of people," said Browning.

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