DALLAS — The Dallas Market Center is launching a new FashionCenterDallas brand campaign called "You Can't Miss Red" at its August market. Using the DMC's signature red logo as its centerpiece, and rolling out across all direct mail, e-mail, Internet and on-site advertising, it will include tag lines such as "Red is the new black," "I look good in red" and "I found it all in red."
"We felt it was time to distill our diverse messages down to a single color and focused message: 'You simply can't miss the markets at Dallas Market Center,'" said Cindy Morris, chief operating officer of the DMC. "Our message, packaged in a compelling, fun way, is that FashionCenterDallas is the total marketplace."
The center is also reaching out to buyers with incentives to come to Dallas — renegotiating with its partner hotels to offer rates averaging $139 a night. "It is our continuing goal to make Dallas the most cost-effective market for customers. We will save buyers more than $500,000 for the remainder of 2007," said Morris.
FashionCenterDallas has ramped up its outreach to the Southeast, Midwest and West, working closely with showrooms to generate leads on new retailers. And, to facilitate registration, the center recently introduced Market FastPass, an e-mail that buyers can print at home and present in a special line at markets to receive their badges.
InStore, the publication the DMC launched in 2005, expanded this spring from four to six issues a year, and the center is working on ways to create digital content similar to the magazine, which is mailed to 60,000 DMC retailers and includes articles on trends, merchandising and store management. "We are constantly evaluating the best means to support retailers when they are away from market," said Morris. "Retailers tell us it's the best thing we have done in years."
FashionCenterDallas, which includes 550 permanent and 500 temporary showrooms, is 97 percent leased. While general women's wear remains the bedrock of the center's business, it has distinguished its contemporary neighborhood on the 15th floor with a new name, District One Five, and expanded showrooms such as Linde Lee, Rick Drysdale and BCBG. It has also added more young contemporary lines on 15 and in its temporaries.As the Dallas Market Center celebrates its 50th anniversary this summer, it is promoting synergy across all categories, with more gift and home showrooms open during apparel markets.
"We are the world's largest wholesale merchandise resource, with 5 million square feet in four buildings," said Bill Winsor, president and chief executive officer of the DMC. "One of the primary reasons for the development of FashionCenterDallas was its adjacency to gift and home showrooms," said Winsor. "And, according to our most recent surveys, for 2007, more than one-third of apparel buyers will also buy products such as personal care, gift items and small home decor."
As the culmination of the DMC's anniversary celebration, and a highlight of its Dallas Fashion Awards, FashionCenterDallas will honor another Dallas institution, Neiman Marcus, for its 100 years in business.
"In a tough retail landscape, no one does it better than Neiman's, with their continuing dedication to luxury, style, customer service and setting the retail bar very high," said Winsor. The black-tie affair and fashion show will also honor designer Phillip Lim with the Rising Star Award.
FashionCenterDallas' Sunday through Wednesday market dates have received positive feedback, said Winsor. "The majority of exhibitors report that the January and March markets were the best they have experienced since FashionCenterDallas opened in 2004, and this pattern has been embraced by the buyers," he said. "Because we are an open-daily marketplace, if showrooms would like to conduct business on the Saturday before market starts they are welcome to do that. And, of course, we continue to receive feedback from retailers and want to meet their needs on market-date patterns."
As part of its business partnership with ShanghaiMart, the DMC will cosponsor a Shanghai women's wear trade event in September that will bring together an edited collection of export-ready manufacturers, and is planning another show in January, just before Hong Kong Fashion Week, to create a more efficient one-stop shopping trip for retailers and manufacturers.
Upcoming apparel market dates for FashionCenterDallas are Aug. 19 to 22 for the holiday, resort and special occasion season and Oct. 21 to 24 for spring buying.
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