Dallas Total Home & Gift Market: Record Number of New Buyers from Across the Country, Deep Order Writing at the First Market of the Year

DALLAS – January 12, 2021 – Total Home & Gift Market in Dallas, the first market of the year, concluded on Tuesday with strong attendance and order writing including a record number of buyers attending for the first time. Dallas Market Center reported that 25% of buyers at the show were first time attendees, the largest percentage in more than ten years.

The show welcomed retailers and interior designers from 47 states as well as Mexico, and total attendance was approximately 70% of the January 2020 Total Home & Gift Market. A record number of new buyers from across the country attended the show; the largest increases in first-time attendees came from the West region of the U.S. as well as the Upper Midwest.

“I’ve never seen such an authentic outpouring of support by exhibitors and such an influx of new buyers eager to order,” said Cindy Morris, president and CEO of Dallas Market Center. “Our first show of the year delivered the energy, confidence, and order writing that will help retailers and designers thrive in the new year. We were especially thrilled with a record number of new buyers from the east and west seeking a centrally located, safe and inspiring marketplace. But business doesn’t stop with this show; we continue the momentum with additional events in January as well as our daily traffic.”

Among the first-time Dallas buyers was Molly Egbert of the Tin Roof in Princeton, Kentucky. After attending markets for 19 years she made the decision to come to Dallas. “This is my first time in Dallas, and it's been the best experience. This was not the year that you would typically take a risk, but … it was majorly beneficial. We're looking for gifts, baby, women's apparel, even men's gifts, home decor, accessories, everything.”

For first-time buyer Taryn Kilty from Farm Girls Boutique in Torrington, Wyoming the first impression was encouraging: “Everyone has been so welcoming, and I've felt safe the whole time. We carry a large array of things. We have home, we have gifts, we have kid's and men's and even women's items. So, really this is where I can find all those things.”

Loyal buyer Bobby Wilson of Wilson Lighting in Overland Park, Kansas recognized the opportunity to source home décor and seasonal items: “We decorate our stores with seasonal Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas items that just couldn't wait. So we came down out of necessity [but] nothing can beat Dallas. You have to come here. Yes we’re a lighting store but we can find home furnishings, home decor, wall art, framed art, and more.”

For retailer Alison Dodson Anderson of A Dodson’s in Suffolk, Virginia the main benefit was efficiency: “I've been to all the markets, I really have, and Dallas is one that I keep coming back to because it fits all the needs. It covers gift. It covers home. It covers toy. It covers apparel. So for me, a multiple store owner … my one-stop shopping is right here in Dallas.”

Showrooms and temporary exhibitors reported the following four factors created a successful January market:

· Steady traffic that exceeded expectations;

· More new buyers from across the country;

· Deep order writing and larger than average orders;

· A marketplace that is safe and supports good health

“They came and they ordered,” said Cliff Price, owner of the Cliff Price & Company showroom. Adding: “We are thrilled to be ahead of last year, which is amazing. We saw lots of out of territory retailers, and I didn’t hear one retailer who didn’t have a strong holiday season. Our average order was up across the board, and we are looking forward to continuing to write business into the upcoming shows later this week.”

Debuting their new showroom, Porch View Home, were Charlie Groppetti and Todd Smith. “We consider Dallas our home showroom. There’s no other market that has everyday business like Dallas and it’s a long-term relationship. I’ve talked with a lot of new customers, who appreciate that Dallas is truly a one-stop market.”

Randa Crisler, vice president of Portico: “We had the best show in our company history and we were happily surprised to have a 25% year-over-year increase thru Sunday. Retailers, including a large number of new customers, were ready to shop and fill their empty stores with new merchandise. We are looking forward to a second week of strong sales with the Apparel and WESA shows. 2021 is off to a fantastic start!”

“Most customers had a fantastic year and they are buying up--20, 30, even 40% higher than last year’s orders, said Danny McDonald, senior executive vice president of Regency International. “We really worked on developing new product this year and giving the customer something new to buy.”

Amber Graves of C Maddox noted: “We had steady traffic of serious buyers eager to see our new collections and our expanded showroom on the atrium. Markets are a great complement to the business we do week in and week out serving a loyal design community.”

Said Herren Hickingbotham, president of Park Hill: “We’ve been very pleased … we’re seeing customers we would have normally seen in Las Vegas or Atlanta. They are telling us they finished the year strong and are optimistic about 2021.”

In addition to permanent showrooms, The Temps at Total Home & Gift Market presented hundreds of new and returning exhibitors with four distinct neighborhoods in three buildings.

“This will be our best show in at least five years and perhaps the best show ever for our company,” said Rick Ratterree of B.S. Trading. “We’re up at least 40% over last year. We’ve seen a lot of buyers from several different states.”

Dianne Moolenaar with Rant & Rave said: “We've had people from all over the United States, in particularly the middle part of the U.S. to the West Coast, which is an area that we can't get to coming from Atlanta. I'm not a person that'll sugar coat anything … and I want to say we're probably up about 50% with many more customers than we have seen before, which is very high for us.”

Ann Gish’s National Sales Manager Derrick Ricketts said: “It’s a great show for us because it’s the first one of the year. We haven't shown in probably eight or nine years and we needed to re-introduce our product to the region and outlying states. We've seen a lot of customers we haven't connected with in a long time.”

A Virtual Lightovation

Supporting the lighting retail community, a virtual edition of the Lightovation trade event is taking place through January 29. The in-person edition of Lightovation, the largest trade event for residential lighting in North America, has been rescheduled to March 23-26. The online event, the first of its kind in residential lighting, enables qualified retail buyers worldwide to shop products from more than 50 leading brands in multiple categories and to seamlessly and conveniently make purchases. The show is being produced by Dallas Market Center’s partner company, MarketTime. More information is available at www.lightovation.markettime.com.

More New and Expanding Showrooms Than Any Marketplace

During the month of January more than 150 new and expanding showrooms are debuting in Dallas, including iconic names and exciting new companies. Ribbon cuttings, socially distanced receptions, and special promotions marked the opening of showrooms in every neighborhood from gift and home to holiday and floral, gourmet and housewares to fashion accessories.

The HEARTS Awards Auction

During the show, Dallas Market Center and ART, the creative home furnishings network, hosted an auction to benefit No Kid Hungry. More than 70 dinner plates donated by Rosenthal and reimagined by VIPs spanning Justina Blakeney to Jane Seymour, Thom Filicia, Alexander Julian, and Bobby Berk were up for bid. The auction is part of The HEARTS Awards, an event taking the place of the annual ARTS Awards and honoring those who showed outstanding leadership during the pandemic. Uniting multiple industries for the first time, The HEARTS Awards event will take place in March. More information is available at www.dallasmarketcenter.com/artsawards.

DMC + MarketTime = Omnichannel Digital Tools

Open daily during the show was the MarketTime Experience Center located on the first floor of the World Trade Center and showcasing MarketTime’s full suite of software solutions supporting business management and growth as well as supporting the only global e-commerce marketplace. MarketTime is the only fully integrated, cloud-based platform supporting the complete omnichannel customer ecosystem across the consumer products spectrum including fashion, home, lighting, gift, and toy.

Health & Safety Guidelines Supporting Buyer Comfort

Supporting the comfort, health and safety of all attendees, the market center continues measures that include mandatory face covering and temperature screening for every person entering the marketplace every day. Other efforts include enhanced cleaning with hospital grade products, hundreds of hand sanitizing stations, limited food service, no gatherings, and signage for social distancing. Along with these new steps, there are safety measures that are part of the design of the marketplace: open parking, large entryways, quick registration in multiple areas, wide hallways, multiple escalators to each floor, and showrooms with controlled access to allow for the appropriate distance between customers.

Additional January Trade Events

In addition to January Total Home and Gift Market, other trade events will offer buyers a safe and welcoming marketplace during the month of January. Those events include WESA’s International Western/English Apparel & Equipment Market, Dallas Apparel & Accessories Market, and Kidsworld Market (January 12-15) as well as the Dallas Men’s Show (January 21-February 2). The next Total Home & Gift Market takes place March 23-26, together with Lightovation, Apparel & Accessories Market, AETA International Trade Show, and KidsWorld.

For upcoming markets, visit the Dallas Market Center website and download the Dallas Market Center mobile app. Also, keep up-to-date on all information by visiting Dallas Market Center on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the DMC blog.

About Dallas Market Center

Dallas Market Center is a global business-to-business trade center and the leading wholesale marketplace in North America connecting retailers and interior designers with top manufacturers in gourmet and housewares, home décor, holiday/floral, gifts, lighting and apparel. Inside its dynamic, five million square foot campus, nearly 200,000 customers from all 50 states and 85 countries seek industry trends, business education and new products from exhibitors throughout the year via dominant trade events for gift, home décor, holiday and floral; the nation’s most comprehensive apparel and accessories markets featuring the latest styles from East Coast and West Coast designers; the largest residential lighting trade event in North America; and the largest and most successful open-daily design center. The marketplace is located in the strongest economic zone in the country. In addition, more than 80% of Dallas Market Center buyers report that they do not shop other market centers. To make plans for upcoming markets, visit the Dallas Market Center website and download the Dallas Market Center App. Also, keep up-to-date on all information by visiting Dallas Market Center on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the Dallas Market Center blog.

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