Dallas Market Center reported an increasing number of return buyers and new buyers to its recent September Total Home & Gift Market.

Following an August show that exceeded expectations, the September 23-25 show welcomed 67% of the buyers compared with the previous year — a gain of more than 10% from August. Attendance by home and design buyers was 78% compared with the previous year and attendance by apparel & accessories buyers was more than 90% compared with the previous year.

In addition to a diverse set of buyers, the number of new buyers attending market in Dallas for the first time remained strong, representing 9% of total attendance. Over the last 90 days Dallas Market Center has seen a rapid increase in new buyer applications from across the Central U.S. and attendance from 47 states at trade events and open houses.

“What was uniquely successful about September Market was the opportunity for buyers to take time to conduct serious business before the holidays and the new year,” said Cindy Morris, president and CEO. “We saw an impressive number of buyers who may normally visit in the summer plus a surge of new buyers making the decision to visit Dallas in order to find everything they need efficiently and safely. August and September were critically important for retailers to place orders but we will continue to offer buying events and daily business to support retailers and designers when they are ready and on their schedule.”

More than 90% of showrooms were open for the September Market to welcome buyers, showcase new products, and take orders. That included more than 60 new and expanded showrooms that debuted earlier in the summer plus exhibitors with thousands of in-stock items ready-to-ship and new product collections in gift and home, holiday and floral, gourmet and housewares as well as fashion categories.

Total Home & Gift Market took place together with Dallas Design Week, which welcomed interior designers for in-person sessions and online events featuring thought leaders and experts. In addition to custom vignettes from a dozen showrooms created in the World Trade Center atrium as well as showroom specials and receptions across the marketplace, sessions included TAID Days of Education; the Sherwin-Williams Colormix Forecast 2021; Color Trends with Patti Carpenter; One-of-a-Kind Design with Christina Garcia, Nathan Hejl, and Roz Murphy; and Top Trends in Lighting with Libby Langdon and Shay Geyer. Visits by the design community supporting open-daily showrooms is above 80% compared with last year.

Outside of the show, Dallas County continued to report a steady decline in local COVID-19 cases now at the lowest daily case counts since April. Inside the marketplace and supporting the comfort, health and safety of all attendees, the market center continued strict new measures that began earlier in the summer and will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Those protocols include mandatory face covering and temperature screening for every person entering the marketplace every day. Other efforts included low contact entry via the Market FastPass, which saw a dramatic adoption in the summer, as well as 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, and showrooms with controlled access to allow for the appropriate distance between customers.

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