The Dallas Market Center (DMC) has reported that strong attendance and increased order writing created solid momentum for its recent Total Home & Gift Market held in mid-January. Among the visitors attending the show were more new buyers from key regions, new buying groups, an increase in major stores, and more leading specialty stores throughout the Central portion of the country.
 
“Buyers came to Dallas in force and placed larger than average orders with renewed confidence,” notes Cindy Morris, President and CEO of Dallas Market Center. “Across all product categories we received positive reports from temporary and permanent exhibitors, with many enthusiastically reporting their best market ever, which further illustrates that Dallas doesn’t just deliver buyers, we deliver buyers eager to write large orders. In fact, the show’s strong attendance and steady order writing confirm our position as the premier marketplace for the Central U.S.”
 
Buyers from all 50 states and more than 60 countries came to Market. Leading the traffic were retail buyers from Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, California, and Florida. International buyers representing Mexico, Canada, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, and the Caribbean made up the majority of international visitors. Key attendance increases included new buyers visiting Dallas from across the Midwest (+2%) and high volume buying organizations including buying groups, home centers, online retailers, and mass merchants (+46%).
 
Increasing consumer confidence and strong retail sales within the strongest economic zone in the U.S. paired with solid growth inside the DMC campus across gift, home décor, lighting, holiday/floral, housewares, gourmet, fashion, and associated categories created a January Market where enthusiastic buyers and exhibitors conducted significant business.
 
Gift resources were showcased across more than 2-million-sq.-ft. of exhibit space. Highlights included the 6,000-sq.-ft. expansion of Portico, a multi-line showroom in the World Trade Center and the 4,000- sq.-ft. expansion of Goetz Inc., a luxury multi-line showroom in the Trade Mart.
 
“The January show season was fantastic for Portico. We launched a new division, C2, which exceeded our stretch goals by more than 40 percent,” says Randa Crisler, VP/Sales for Portico. “Our loyal customers embraced it with a vengeance. In addition, our original C1 division was up more than 30 percent for the show. Dallas and Portico are thriving! We are excited to see where 2017 takes us.”
 
The biggest growth category in Dallas for 2017 is home décor, serving both interior design and retailers and buoyed by the nation’s leading housing market and geographic adjacency to the fastest growing cities in the country. For the January show, Stein World debuted a new space in the World Trade Center. Brad Smith, CEO of ELK Group comments, “We were pleased to bring Stein World back to the Dallas show, giving buyers in the Central U.S. and beyond the ability to explore the brand offering first-hand. Dallas Market Center is important for our Dimond Home, Stein World, and other brands and we look forward to building upon the success this market venue provides.”
 
The talk among the thousands of whom visit DMC each month between shows was the Interior Home + Design Center, the 220,000-sq.-ft. open-daily marketplace to the trade opening in summer 2017. A select number of companies are participating in this opportunity to create their own custom space as part of the largest expansion of home décor resources in more than 40 years. Among the participants are Phillips Collection, Palecek, ZUO, Visual Comfort, and Ambella Home Collection, among others. The Interior Home + Design Center is the centerpiece of a long-range strategic initiative to provide enhanced value to manufacturers by serving market-time attendees as well as the growing number of interior designers conducting business at DMC each week.
 
The January Lightovation show presented new and expanded showrooms, educational programming from the American Lighting Association (ALA) and two Lightovation keynote presentations, as well as an exclusive lighting industry party and a grand opening celebration for the expanded Spectrum shared showroom.
 
Rick Seidman, President of Quoizel, reports, “Lightovation continues to be the most important residential lighting event in North America. Traffic was steady, buyers were motivated, and we did great business over the course of the show.”
 
Adds Brad Kleinberg, President of Crystorama,“Traffic trending earlier for Lightovation at this market sped up the exposure for our exciting launch with Brian Patrick Flynn as well as our other introductions.”
 
In addition to new resources, January Market delivered dozens of receptions and parties as well as keynote speakers such as Corey Damen Jenkins and Robin Baron, Libby Langdon, Randall Whitehead, Jim Marvin, and Matt Wood.  The DMC hosted the 28th Annual ARTS Awards before a crowd of 650+ guests that included celebrated top manufacturers, retailers, designers, and sales representatives as well as honored two special award recipients: Mark Phillips of Phillips Collection, who received the Academy of Achievement Award, and industry icon Connie Lineberry, who received the Legendary Leadership Award.