By  on June 20, 2007

ATLANTA — AmericasMart is on target with its aggressive goal to become a national market. In April, it combined its women's, children's and men's markets for the first time, and continues to expand key segments of its contemporary and high-end product categories.

"The defining message for Atlanta for 2007 and beyond is growth, and this year is the start, with all categories together under a single roof. It's about synergy — we are expanding our reach and growing our business," said Mike Turnbull, senior vice president of marketing at AmericasMart. "We are the largest apparel market on the East Coast, with 2.1 million square feet of product on 13 floors, in 1,000 temporary and 550 permanent showrooms, equating to 8,000 apparel lines."

The building, which is 93 percent leased, is seeing major growth in its contemporary categories, with Premiere as its defining strength, said Turnbull.

Premiere, the mart's juried temporary show, has doubled in revenue and exhibitor numbers in the last two years to cover the entire second floor of the building.

A key focus for current expansion is high-end men's lines, such as Elmer Ave, a three-year-old Los Angeles-based brand whose prices range from $200 to $480 wholesale for jackets. "Atlanta has a totally different feel than other trade shows. They care about the exhibitors and buyers and keep a steady relationship with them," said Doran Santiago, president of sales and marketing for the company, which made its debut in April and is planning a major presentation, including a massive pirate ship setting, during the August market.

NY/LA Co-op, an amalgam of young contemporary mini showrooms, has grown exponentially to occupy three quadrants of the ninth floor. By August, with the launch of NY/LA North, featuring People's Liberation, William Rast, Ben Sherman and Workshop, it will include approximately 40 new showrooms across more than 14,000 square feet. NY/LA

Co-op West, which opened in February, includes anchors such as 10Eleven, Twnz and Lit Studio.

Alpha, which includes contemporary, casual and classic men's wear, has traditionally been a separate market, but now starts one day later than the women's and children's dates, in permanent showrooms on the 12th floor and temporaries in the first-floor Exhibit Hall. Occurring four times a year, the show continues to become more upscale, with a new Lifestyles category featuring top brands such as Ed Hardy, Coogi, Reebok, Fila and Christian Audigier.

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