L.A. TEXTILE SHOW RESETS SPRING EDITION TO JANUARY

Byline: Michael McNamara

NEW YORK--Responding to exhibitors' complaints that the Los Angeles International Textile Show falls between seasons, its sponsors have set the spring edition for Jan. 23-25 at the California Mart.
The upcoming fall event, Oct. 24-26, will be held as originally scheduled, according to the Mart and the Textile Association of Los Angeles, the show's organizers.
The decision to change the dates was made after several discussions with key exhibitors, said Bob Berg, executive vice president of TALA. Berg said the most vocal critic of the old dates was the 40-firm contingent of the Textile Distributors Association, a group comprising chiefly New York-based mills and converters.
Berg said the TDA had "strongly recommended [changing] the original scheduling of the shows, moving the April event to January, closer to the spring selling season, and moving the October show to August, more in line with the fall selling season."
The October stand this year was scheduled several months ago and thus won't be changed, Berg said. However, next year's event highlighting 1996 fabrics will most likely be held in August.
The TDA's most vocal proponents of changing the scheduling were James Gutman, president of Pressman-Gutman, and Isaac Kier, chairman and chief executive officer of Lida Inc. Kier also is chairman of the TDA.
Because the April-October scheduling falls in between selling seasons, the TDA argued, it cuts into potential traffic. Buyers often make their fabric decisions much earlier, they noted.
They also said that despite the fact that buyer attendance has increased from the 5,000 who attended the inaugural show in May 1993 to the 7,500 who showed up at the third edition this past April, there would have been a drop-off if the old schedule continued.
"At the first few shows, the idea was new, and people were excited that there were major converters and mills in town, and they put up with the fact that there wasn't much newness," said Gutman. "Now, however, that's kind of wearing off. We need to make an impact with fresh stuff, and we can't do it at the end of a selling season."
Gutman also said he is considering sending fewer people to Los Angeles for the upcoming October event than he has for previous shows.
"And if they ever decide to go back to the old schedule, we would consider pulling out of the show," Gutman said.
"Frankly, this show needs the participation of the TDA members," Kier said. "We would not have been able to, in good conscience, continue to support the show as we have had they not looked at changing the dates."

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