The month of June was the biggest summer month of buyer traffic in more than a decade, according to Dallas Market Center (DMC). The Apparel & Accessories Market, Total Home & Gift Market, KidsWorld, and Lightovation collectively welcomed tens of thousands of buyers from all 50 states. In addition, the number of visitors to the marketplace’s more than 1 million square feet of open-daily Design showrooms continued to trend upward.

Particularly noteworthy was the number of new buyers — an unprecedented 75% increase in first-time buyers from June 1 to June 30. Furthermore, the marketplace welcomed more buyers from geographic regions outside of its core trading area of TOLA (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas). The marketplace saw a 31% increase in buyers from the West, a 44% increase in buyers from the Midwest, and a 58% increase in buyers from the Southeast compared with June 2019. Total attendance from these regions grew at a greater rate than in more than a decade.

“June was a highly successful culmination of the efforts we have undertaken over many months and a strong partnership with our exhibitors and reps to create a safe, inspiring marketplace,” says Cindy Morris, President & CEO of DMC. “The word is out, and the momentum is incredible. We are a marketplace attracting buyers from across the country, and we are the new home for thousands of buyers — from Seattle to Miami. But business doesn’t stop; we have multiple trade events throughout the summer and fall as well as our unmatched daily traffic.”

Category Breakdown

  • Apparel & Accessories Market saw a 48% increase in buyers and welcomed more buyers attending from across the country. At the same time, exhibit space was sold out with overflow exhibitors occupying temporary trade show space created to meet demand.
  • Total Home & Gift Market welcomed more buyers than it had in several years including a new buyer increase of 40% and record-setting increases in buyer attendance from the Midwest, Southeast, and West.
  • Lightovation returned to a full format show and had attendance that was 90% of pre-pandemic levels. The home of lighting saw the debut of new and expanded showrooms from leading brands.
  • KidsWorld saw a more than 50% increase in buyers, including retailers from 40 states.
  • Daily design traffic remains at historic levels as interior designers serve clients eager to upgrade furnishings and redesign spaces.

Buyers with significant influence and purchasing power visited the marketplace including single and multi-location retailers, buying groups, major stores, and interior design businesses as well as more than 40 leading associations in housewares and gourmet, lighting, independent retail, interior design, toy, builders, home accents, gift, floral, holiday, spa, sustainability, plus nursery and landscape.

“The major store buyers visiting in June, representing some of the largest volume retailers in the U.S., were eager to discover new products across every neighborhood of our marketplace,” states Eva Walsh, EVP of Retail Development and Leasing. “We began outreach months ago to support their buying trips. The same is true for buying groups and associations such as GC Buying Group, Monograms America, HTI, Southwest Buying Group, Purchasing Power Plus, Boutique Hub, and many others.”

Exhibitors noted the business that took place throughout the month. “Ivystone welcomed buyers throughout the month of June,” says Monica Loving, Vice President with the gift and lifestyle showroom. “Our apparel and gift/home shows were both very successful. We experienced significant growth at both.”

Home furnishings showrooms enjoyed not only the market traffic, but daily business. David Gebhart, co-founder and CEO of Global Views observes, “We’ve had a good show, but the open-daily business is one of the key points about being in Dallas Market Center. With the day-to-day business being as strong as it is here, it’s just really a great place to be.”

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