Messe Frankfurt Launching Upscale Off-Price Trade Show in New York in 2017

Trade Shows

As of Thursday, August 18, 2016

Trade show company Messe Frankfurt, organizer of Texworld USA, will launch a new high-end, off-price trade show in New York next year.

Boulevard Prêt-A-Sale will bow March 21–23 at the Javits Center in New York. The debut show will focus on menswear, but for the second edition, in October, men’s and women’s apparel, accessories and footwear will be added.

Messe Frankfurt has teamed up with fashion-industry veterans Arnold and Bruce Zimberg to launch the new show.

The Zimbergs have been in the fashion business for more than four decades, developing brands, including men’s contemporary shirts under the Arnold Zimberg label.

In recent years, the brothers noticed the growing buying power of discounters such as Off Fifth, Ross Stores and TJ Maxx.

“Now offprice shoppers account for 75 percent of all apparel purchases,” Arnold Zimberg said. “Today there’s nothing you cannot buy at a discount.”

The two floated the idea of launching an upscale trade show to their friends in the apparel community. “Everyone loves the idea,” Bruce Zimberg said. “It turns inventory into cash.”

The show is about helping both retailers and brands “reestablish a return on investment,” Arnold Zimberg said.

“Value retailers are the most important retailers of today, and of tomorrow, and they are not given the same exposure to fashion brands or the opportunity to develop the same relationships with manufacturers and designers,” he said. “Boulevard Prêt-A-Sale will offer networking opportunities to those retailers and allow them to better cultivate their offerings for customers.”

Dennis Smith, president, Messe Frankfurt North America, called the new show a “unique new addition to the current fashion trade shows in the U.S.”

“Messe Frankfurt has also sought solutions to address the shifting North American retail market,” he said in a company statement. “Along with Arnold and Bruce, we recognized the extraordinary value this concept would offer the retail industry. It is critical to stay ahead of the ever-changing retail environment and to offer value to current and future buyers and manufacturers. This entirely new concept addresses their needs as no other show can.”

The Zimbergs want to create a “comfortable environment where [buyers] can sit down, not feel pressured and be treated like gold,” said Arnold Zimberg, who designed the show booths to look like “little shops in SoHo.”

The launch show will be held in the Javits Center’s River Pavilion, a 45,000-square-foot space on the convention center’s fourth floor overlooking the Hudson River. The invitation-only event for qualified buyers will feature a layout designed to “capture the energy of downtown New York City.”

“The United States is the largest retail market in the world, and every major department store in North America has successfully opened outlet extensions with a dedicated buying team responsible specifically for outlet merchandise. Off-price is the true retail today,” said Bruce Zimberg in a statement. “This trade show will be the platform to showcase new and fresh high-quality merchandise that will appeal to the savvy U.S. and international shopper who demands fast-to-market and a value price.”

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