NEW YORK — The Channel, a new invitation-only buying event that planned to link select specialty stores with designers and manufacturers, has been canceled because of lack of participation from vendors.

The first show was slated for Feb. 5-8, 2004, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, focusing on women’s bridge and contemporary sportswear, as well as accessories.

“They had very high standards for this very first event,” said Robin Lewis, president of Robin Reports, who was the event’s co-chairman. He said the organizers were able to sign up about 100 specialty stores but were unable to get enough vendors.

Asked if there are plans to schedule the show at a later date, Lewis told WWD, “For now, it’s terminated.”

The event was being organized by Channel Events LLC, based in Stratford, Conn., which is headed by Skip Farber, chairman and chief executive officer, and Diane Stone, executive vice president.Neither Stone nor Farber could be reached for comment Monday.

The game plan was for Channel’s merchandising team to select about 200 specialty store retailers and 100 vendors to participate. The Channel planned to pay all expenses for the retailers, excluding transportation, and the vendors and designers were to pay varying fees depending on custom packages. The event was going to allow vendors to make formal presentations to these retailers, and after that, if a store wanted to do business one-on-one, they could schedule a meeting at the event.

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