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DALLAS — Fashion Industry Gallery inaugurates a new market schedule next week, running its show Wednesday to Friday instead of its customary Thursday through Saturday. Showrooms will be open Saturday by appointment only.
FIG moved its show a day earlier in response to buyer demand and because a poll of tenants indicated “overwhelming” approval of the change, a spokeswoman said.
“Our Thursday and Friday traffic has seen consistent growth over the last 18 to 24 months, and during the same period, we have seen a significant increase in the number of appointments on Wednesdays,” said FIG director Emma Greathouse.
The new schedule caters to buyers like Melanie Ramon, owner of Melanie Gayle contemporary boutique in Dallas.
“I prefer going to market during the week because I have little kids who always have soccer or T-ball games and birthday parties on the weekends,” Ramon said. “I never go to market on a Saturday or Sunday.”
Connie Sigel, owner of Elements in Dallas, said she always shops FIG on its first two days and will continue to do so.
“The contemporary market is a lot more competitive, and people want to get their foot in the door early to get a new collection from competitors as soon as they can,” Sigel said.
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With the schedule change, retailers have been asking for appointments at FIG as early as Tuesday, noted Suzanne Lerner, owner of Lerner et Cie showroom, which operates in Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.
“Wednesdays have really become one of our most important market days,” Lerner pointed out. “Saturdays have been tapering off as far as traffic is concerned over the last several years. I think buyers want to either be in their stores or with their families.”
The new arrangement works for vendors too.
“Personally, it’s better for us to have market during the week than on weekends when we have to juggle kids,” said Jennifer Blumenstock, who owns Three Bishops jewelry with her two sisters.
Gary Rosenblum, national sales manager for Drew Phillips in New York, also felt the change was positive.
“For the past few shows, I have been asked by more accounts if I will be available to see them on Wednesdays,” he noted. “Saturdays have become very hit-or-miss in terms of business to be done. If the customers can get to FIG on Wednesday, then we could have three full days of business.”
“Just like in Los Angeles, our market patterns shifted, so to react accordingly is being responsive to the changes in our industry,” affirmed Laurie Hasson, who operates namesake showrooms at FIG and the New Mart in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles jewelry designer Cheryl Dufault said the market schedule should accommodate retailers, and if this format doesn’t work, it can always be tweaked.
“Whatever works for the buyers, I’m willing to go and be there,” Dufault said.
FIG’s shuttle to and from the Dallas Market Center will run Wednesday to Friday and also on Saturdays during markets as long as there is a need, Greathouse noted.
The DMC market continues to run from Thursday to Sunday.