By  on October 18, 2007

DALLAS — Responding to demand, FashionCenterDallas will return to a Thursday-to-Sunday market schedule next year.

The move comes after a September survey that found a majority of retailers and exhibitors preferred those days over the Sunday-to-Wednesday format that was tested this year, according to the Dallas Market Center, parent of FCD.

"Our goal is to be completely flexible and cooperative with market dates in order to provide buyers, sales reps and manufacturers with the most productive and efficient market experience," said Cindy Morris, chief operating officer of DMC.

FCD's first show in 2008 is set for Jan. 24 to 27 instead of Jan. 27 to 30. New dates for the other four markets next year should be set within a couple of weeks, said Cole Daugherty, DMC's vice president for marketing communications. "We're trying to make every effort to stand free and clear of other markets."

An overlap with the show at AmericasMart in Atlanta occurred in August, and as the schedule stands there will also be conflict in January. The new Dallas dates overlap two days of the AmericasMart event, which is planned for Jan. 26 to 29. Previously, the two shows coincided on three days.

Last April, AmericasMart changed its 2007 markets to Sunday-to-Wednesday, adopting the same pattern that Dallas launched in January. Officials at AmericasMart declined to comment on Dallas' return to the old format or to discuss how its clients have responded to the schedule in Atlanta.

In Dallas, "People either loved it [the Sunday start] or hated it," said Brad Hughes, principal in Brad Hughes & Assoc., one of the largest showrooms at FCD specializing in bridge and contemporary. "I never could put my finger on which was the favorite."

The Sunday-to-Wednesday schedule was intended to allow retailers to be in their stores on busy Saturdays. But after the first show in January, several sales representatives opted to open on the Saturday before each market in response to buyer demand.

Hughes said he has 75 appointments this Saturday, though the market starts Sunday.

"I was just so accustomed to the old schedule and its routine, and this year was more complicated because I had to stop and think about which appointments I needed to have on what days," said Victoria Jackson, owner of Talula contemporary shop in Dallas. "I'm ready to go back."Fashion Industry Gallery, the Dallas wholesale venue specializing in contemporary fashions and accessories, has always scheduled its markets to overlap FCD. They differed slightly this year in that FIG has been running Saturday-to-Tuesday.

"FIG will continue to host market in a similar date pattern as DMC in 2008, as it is important to the Dallas market in general," said Shelli Mers, director of FIG. "We have received mixed buyer reviews regarding the 2007 date pattern....We will adjust our dates accordingly, based on retailer needs."

Hughes said he was "fine" with either pattern. "The timing of the market within the month is the critical part of this equation, not what days it's on."

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