VOW l Retail Experts Panelists Reveal their Tricks of the Trade

The VOW | Retail Experts Panel was brimming with information for attendees. The renowned panel of industry leaders included Barbara Tibbetts of T Carolyn, Shirley Fraser of Bravura, Ann Marie Griffin of Ann Marie’s and Shelley Mueller of Becker’s Bridal. The panel was moderated by Patrice Catan of Catan Fashions who later hosted her own seminar Don’t Just Survive – Thrive.

The entire panel concurred that reliable customer service and continuous employee training are key to running a successful bridal boutique. “You have 30 seconds to make a first impression with each new customer entering your store,” says Shelley Mueller. “Be sure to have a designated greeter, since the bride’s first encounter with your personnel can make or break a sale.” The panel members stressed the importance of making certain every employee was capable and prepared to handle the array of different scenarios that may present themselves. They also felt employees should express passion for the business along with technical knowledge like delivery times and color selections. Shirley Fraser noted, “You may be selling a single dress, but a positive experience by one bride may lead to dress sales for their bridal party, mother and mother-in-law and referrals to all of her friends.”

Panelists expressed that every employee must be able identify a woman’s body type and know the silhouettes that best suit her shape. “Every woman will walk into your store hating a particular fault in her body,” says Shirley. In addition, they need to know which manufacturers carry what silhouettes, whether their delivery times meet the bride’s requirements and if their price point fits within their budget.

Barbara Tibbetts, whose shop T Carolyn sells dresses exclusively for mothers of the bride and groom, points out that the average American woman wears a size 14, but will likely lie about her size. Barbara features mannequins of varying sizes in order to help her clients visualize themselves wearing the dresses on display. She also recommends not overstuffing the dress racks and arranging the dresses so they are color coordinated and gently transition from one color to the next.

Ann Marie Griffin suggests business owners think about their store as another employee. “Take pride in the merchandise you sell and keep your shop orderly. A customer will want to buy if they think you care about finding them the perfect dress to wear on the most important day of their life.” “Customers want to see and touch the merchandise,” she continues, “and are more likely to try on a dress that is on display because it is generally fully accessorized, and they can see the entire picture.”

All of the panelists agreed that putting a bride in the proper smoothing foundations, a dress that is flattering to her body type, adding shoes and jewelry, then topping it off with a veil will allow the bride to get a snapshot of what she’ll look like on her wedding day and finalize the sale. Just be certain your staff knows to have the tissues ready.

Strong Showing at the October Atlanta Apparel Market

IMG_9536The October Atlanta Apparel Market kicked off Thursday, Oct. 14 and continued through Monday, Oct. 18. The Market showcased spring 2011 women’s, men’s children’s, apparel and accessories and  introduced dozens of new lines in all categories.

Newly featured this Market was the exciting category for swim and resort called SPLASH. Exclusive to the October Market, the category was located on floor 3 in the Market Temporary booths.

The Daily Strut, a fashion show that took place every day during Market, showcased the latest fashions that buyers could purchase at Market.

As retailers shopped for the latest trends and styles, they looked to fashionista sales reps and designers like Alessandra Chu from Ya Los Angeles for trend advice such as, “A lot of ruffles are still in [as well as] the rompers and maxi dresses” and “spring dresses are still hot” from Judith March.

Friday night’s fashion show brought buyers from the entire Market to the floor 2 atrium for the premier event: The Style Runway Fashion Runway Show featuring Canada’s Montreal Collections. As the headlining sponsor of the show, Montreal Collections showcased 30 looks from the spring 2011 collection of renowned designer, Samuel Dong. The show also included the spring 2011 collections of 20 different Montreal ready-to-wear manufacturers and additional lines from participating AmericasMart exhibitors._MG_3135

The Market brought all the hottest spring 2011 trends together for one exciting weekend of fashion. And, it was all captured on video. Be sure to check out the highlight video, where we spotlighted the Market’s most exciting features, spoke with designers and retailers and explored our campus at its peak brimming with products and buzzing with the anticipation of the upcoming season. To view the video, click here.

Don’t miss the largest apparel market on the East Coast, the nation’s largest special occasion market and the largest resource for apparel, shoes, accessories and fine jewelry. Mark your calendars and start making plans for the next Atlanta Apparel Market, Feb. 3 – Feb. 7, 2011!

For more information, click here.

October Market Turns it Up with New Lines

apparellistingimages-newThe October Atlanta Apparel Market is just around the corner, and it’s packing in the lines! The apparel team has been hard at work securing the best lines and the biggest names that you want to see. It’s all here…contemporary, young contemporary, shoes, accessories, special occasion, swim and much more!  You won’t want to miss it!

Want to know who will be here and who’s new? Find out the featured new lines here.

Smart Car Giveaway

xcitecarIt’s an endless supply of major giveaways at Market this weekend! The Smart Cars outside of the apparel building are going to three lucky prom or bridal retailers* this Market, thanks to Xcite! Xcite is giving one car away a day Friday-Sunday. The drawing will take place daily at 5:30 p.m. in their showroom, 10-S337. Prom and Bridal retailers, don’t miss out on the chance to drive away in a brand new Smart Car!excitecar


*Must be prom, bridal or special occasion retailer to enter

AmericasMart is not affiliated with Xcite or the giveway.

The Prom Floor is Already Jumping

promday1The Atlanta Apparel August Market featuring the Nation’s Largest Prom Market is set to swing open the doors tomorrow for the official start, but the prom floors are already buzzing. It is apparent as you walk the floor on 10 that business has already started, with fashion shows, meetings, modeling and papers flying. Showrooms are open and ready to welcome all buyers.

The excitement of the largest prom market began earlier this week with the arrival of the “prom books,” which brought dozens of special occasion buyers from around the globe. The energy they came to Market with is only going to increase as the weekend nears and more buyers arrive and all temporary booths and showrooms open. This is one Market you don’t want to miss!

More information about Market and all the chic fashion shows and events can be found here.

If you’re already in Atlanta, grab an Apparel Guide for all the important details!

Win $25,000 at Market!

jovanigiveawayHave you heard about Jovani and its BIG giveaway? You’ll want to hear this. They are giving away a whopping 25 grand! One lucky retailer will walk away from Market with an extra $25,000. All you have to do is stop by the Jovani showroom on the special occasion floor 10 for more details and to secure a raffle ticket.

The tickets are already piling up! It appears that hundreds have already stuffed the box with their hopefully “lucky” ticket.jovanigiveaway1

Don’t miss out on this very special, very big giveaway!


AmericasMart is not affiliated with Jovani or the giveaway.

Atlanta Apparel is Haute for Prom this August

HauteforProm1In just a few weeks, retailers from around the globe will experience the Nation’s Largest Prom Market.  To make the huge number of must-have fashion pieces easier to navigate, Atlanta Apparel is hosting the world’s top special occasion designers in one fabulous evening at the largest fashion show of the year, Haute for Prom. Taking place on Thursday, August 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the atrium LOUNGE on Floor 2, Haute for Prom will spotlight designer’s latest styles and trends.

Taking center stage are five featured sponsors. Gold sponsors Kiss Kiss Formal by Mary’s, Dana Mathers, Mac Duggal and Alfred Angelo, along with silver sponsor Terani, will highlight collections of prom, bridal, pageantry, homecoming, Quinceañera and social occasion and accessory designs opening the show with their newest collections. Plus, there will be dozens of more names to see throughout the evening

Buyers will also be able to see the Style Runway
Fashion Show on Friday,HauteforProm2 August 27 at 6:30 p.m.
in the LOUNGE, Floor 2. The Style Runway Fashion Show, sponsored by Amy J Hill and Judith March, will feature young contemporary, premiere, ready-to-wear, holiday and resort accessories and special occasion trends. And, buyers are invited to join us for complimentary cocktails prior to the fashion show at 6 p.m.

Can’t make these shows? Check out the daily fashion shows taking place in the Atrium Lounge at 11a.m. & 3p.m.

For more details on the events through out August Market please click here.