Atlanta Apparel Continues to Break Records With Customer Service
Showing inimitable Southern hospitality, Atlanta Apparel, held April 11–15 concurrent with VOW Bridal and Formal at AmericasMart Atlanta, offered exhibitors and buyers an array of networking and social opportunities, a return to fashion events and seminars, as well as inventive takes on Grab n’ Go for breakfast, Lunch n’ Learn midday, and sweet treats and happy hours toward the end of each day.
The show welcomed attendees from 47 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and 11 countries, once again breaking records for brand offerings by presenting over 3,500 lines in over 350 permanent showrooms and 400 temporary exhibits. The market’s apparel resources were marked by notable growth in footwear, resortwear, accessories and contemporary categories.
“The positive energy this April at Atlanta Apparel could be felt across all 14 floors,” said Caron Stover, International Market Centers SVP, apparel. “The Atlanta buyers came to market hungry for inventory and found an impressive scope of apparel, accessories and footwear offerings to meet customer needs.”
And indeed, customer service was the hallmark of the show.
Freddy Simon, CEO and president of Freddy Simon & Associates, who has owned and operated a multi-brand showroom at AmericasMart for 38 years, declared this edition of market “terrific.”
“The organizers changed dates to work around the religious holidays, and it worked. We had a great flow of traffic and business,” said Simon.
Simon also noted the organizers’ dedication to keep markets open during the pandemic. “The only market we did not have was in March 2020, but then we reopened with all safety protocols in place, including temperature checks, distancing and face masks.”
Simon’s own customer service to his brands includes years of experience to help his lines and buyers navigate financial downturns and the changing needs of consumers, especially during the recent two years of lockdowns and working at home.
Like the many exhibitors and buyers at VOW, he is seeing a big return to dresses with parties and weddings and graduations back on many people’s calendars.
Anna Groom, owner of the South Boutique in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Ala., echoed Simon’s sentiment about customer service and its importance now more than ever.
“We are known at South for our amazing customer service. We truly believe our customers will go the extra mile to shop with us because of the relationships we have built,” Groom said. “We have customers of all ages and strive to keep up with the latest trends while keeping core, timeless pieces that represent our brand. Atlanta Apparel never disappoints. We love how fast-paced every single minute is during this show. We have built countless relationships with vendors and feel that Atlanta Apparel has our best interest in assisting us with buying each time.”
For Lisi Lerch, owner of Lisi Lerch, Inc., “Atlanta Apparel gives me the opportunity to show all of my latest creations to the buyers face to face. While they may have seen us on social media, at Atlanta Apparel they get to touch and feel the craftsmanship that goes into each and every one of our accessories.”
With the weather cooperating throughout the week, on the second day of market over 600 Atlanta Apparel participants filled John Portman Boulevard (named for the developer of AmericasMart Atlanta among other downtown centers), to the Fashion in the Streets “runway” show. The pre-party was held against a backdrop of the downtown Atlanta skyline, and the standing-room-only Autumn/Winter 2022 fashion-trend event showcased 74 looks across young contemporary, shoes and accessories categories, highlighting the top-trending colors and styles on tap for next season.
Sustainability was a newly introduced and curated category at market, with over 50 brands exhibiting. The return to educational offerings after a two-year hiatus was kicked off by a Sustainability panel on the first day featuring representatives from sustainability companies ABLE, Ella Stein, the Lebel Group and TOMS and moderated by California Apparel News.
A seminar was also devoted to Atlanta Apparel’s Juniper, a fully integrated omni-channel B2B commerce solution and multi-line e-commerce marketplace devoted to empowering buyers and sellers to better grow and manage their businesses year-round. Grow Up Your Business: Tips and Tricks for Cross-Category Sourcing addressed how to add products to personalize a shop’s signature while expanding sales.
Photos courtesy of Atlanta Apparel.