Though traffic was lighter at this edition of Offprice, exhibitors reported steady business and order writing. | Photo courtsey of Offprice
As of Thursday, February 18, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic inspired the Offprice show, a biannual Las Vegas trade event for value-priced women’s, men’s and kids’ apparel as well as footwear and jewelry to a new town and a new situation, where it shared convention space with the WWIN Orlando Showcase and MAGIC Pop Up Orlando Feb. 9–11 in Orlando, Fla.
Because much of the United States was caught in a cold snap during February, people looking for a break from winter weather took the opportunity to visit the Orlando trade shows, said Wayne Cloth, a vendor at Offprice, where the weather hovered at 80 degrees during the trade-show run.
“We were busy from the get-go all the way through,” said Cloth, who works as director of men’s and private label at Magid NYC Accessories.
Cloth displayed his company’s floppy summer hats, bags and wallets at wholesale price points of $13 to $18. He mostly saw independent retailers who needed to order immediate goods for their stores.
For Debbie Carlson, manager of The Bric boutique in Fergus Falls, Minn., traveling to Offprice was a welcome change of weather. She placed orders for at-once items.
Among items she ordered were maxi dresses, jogger pants, denim with frayed edges and distressing, and anything that was comfortable. “I call it COVID wear. It’s very much comfortable clothing for business professionals and stay-at-home moms,” Carlson said. Camouflage and animal-skin patterns remain popular, in addition to bright colors such as yellows and neutrals.
A major reason for producing the Orlando show was vendor and retailer demand for an in-person show, said Tricia Barglof, executive director of Offprice.
Different from past shows, vendor booths were situated five feet apart, with aisles 15 feet wide. Masks were mandatory. To gain entry, attendees and vendors were tested to ensure they were negative of COVID-19, which typically took about 15 minutes, Barglof said.
The pandemic and the change of venue had an effect on the show. Barglof estimated that the number of vendors and attendees were at 20 percent to 25 percent of the full slate of vendors who typically do business at the sprawling show in Las Vegas.
Attendees shopping the show included value retailers across the board, ranging from independent shops, digital shops and prominent regional retailers such as the Bealls Outlets.
While attendees came from all over the United States and some from Latin America, Barglof said that many of the attendees drove in from Florida and surrounding states.