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Creative Leisure News
306 Parker Circle
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone: 785-760-5071
Email: mike@clnonline.com


 


Reports on shows, trends, and more

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Report from Recent Gift Markets

Better attendance, better mood than expected.

by a Gift (former craft) Vendor (February 4, 2008)

I was apprehensive about two things going in to the Atlanta Gift Market show attendance in general and order writing totals. Both were pleasant surprises. The Atlanta gift show was definitely well attended, no hidden numbers necessary. I still am boggled by how a buyer works that market four 20-story buildings and a fifth under construction! Our overall attendance of old and new buyers was very good. The trend was more customers, but the average dollar-order total sale was DOWN. Our program is still supported essentially by the independents and they, unlike the big boxes, still tend to "pack things away for next season" rather than take the markdown. I heard that time and again.

I was pleasantly surprised that I heard literally no "doom and gloom," "locking the doors and heading to retirement," etc. Most had a fairly good holiday season. I talked to one buyer for a small drug chain who attended the Chicago show for the first time in many years and she had very positive things to say about the traffic there, which has been contrary to our past experience. I also talked to many who went to Dallas. Same old story. Same vendors, nothing new. Lots of long-time vendors moving out and only looking at temp space in future.

Here is a prediction: In the next five years the gift market will be dominated by Atlanta and Las Vegas. Many other venues will totally disappear or become temp shows only. The writing is on the wall.

(Note: To read previous "Scene & Heard" reports, click on the titles in the right-hand column.)

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