The Dallas Market Center will be Twittering new business at the fall and holiday market, June 4 to 7.
This story first appeared in the May 28, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We’re hot on Twitter,” noted Cindy Morris, chief operating officer of the wholesale complex, which includes FashionCenterDallas. “We did it at GlobalTex [LA International Textile and Sourcing Fair in April], and it picked up some momentum on the floor. People who were in Los Angeles and were thinking about the show all of a sudden started coming in.”
Using Twitter to broadcast updates about events during the show is one of the new tactics being used by DMC to connect with retailers.
The complex also will be launching a loyalty program to reward frequent buyers with discounts and travel vouchers, as well as a “win-back” strategy that offers incentives like hotel rooms to recapture buyers who may have missed attendance at a market or two.
Retailers in Midwestern “swing” states are another new target market for the event.
“We have high hopes that our efforts will have some positive results,” affirmed Bill Winsor, president and chief executive officer. “We feel gratified that our region has not been as impacted financially as other regions. That said, we don’t have our head in the sand. There are economic conditions out there that we are all dealing with.”
Promoting Dallas as a bargain destination, the DMC is touting “the lowest hotel rates in five years” through its in-house travel agency, Market Travel. Rooms start at $99 and two of the city’s best hotels — the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek — can be booked for $214 a night.
Funds for the new marketing efforts come largely from money that had been earmarked for the 34th annual Dallas Fashion Awards gala in October. But when attendants at brainstorming sessions with the DMC said they’d rather see more outreach to buyers and social activities, the formal event was canceled.
“We’ve changed the focus with those dollars, and we are doing retail development,” Morris noted. “The feedback we’ve been getting from exhibitors is that they want events at market that involve more people.”
Two new contemporary showrooms also will launch at the show:
• Monica Mateus, formerly a sales representative at Poleci, will open a namesake showroom in room 15610 featuring Iodice draped tops and dresses and other resources.
• Select Showroom, which specializes in trendy T-shirts for men and women, will test the market in June with a temporary showcase in room 15804. The company will maintain the Dallas showroom it has operated for two years at Fashion Industry Gallery downtown, said Molly Cunningham, showroom manager.
“We’ve never done the DMC before and so we’re trying it out,” she said. “But we have our permanent space at FIG and we’ve established customers there.”
Select represents T-shirts by Salvage, Rawalty, Dirtee Hollywood, Localgod and Kinetix plus Robin’s Jean denim, Josh Brody contemporary dresses and Pascal Mouawad men’s jewelry.
SCENE, the juried temporary show of contemporary and bridge, will feature at least 40 booths, an increase over last June. Resources include Ed Hardy Leather; Devon Leigh Designs jewelry and Whish sportswear.
“Temporaries are doing very well, and SCENE is more than 95 percent leased for the June show,” Morris said. “So many of the lines that show at SCENE then find their ways into reps’ showrooms.”