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How L.A. Vendors are Thinking Local

As changes in the Los Angeles retail market develop, thoughtful and quality buys are becoming a priority. This is leading to local showroom owners and trade show organizers modifying their strategies. New competitors are resurfacing as the retail sector and the economy improve. Analyzing businesses such as Leighann Boquist’s boutique in Vancouver gives us a better understanding of the changes.

“They want a quality piece and they want to make sure they can wear it next year,” said Leighann Boquist, to Women’s Wear Daily. “People will pay higher prices if the quality is there and they want a story. Our customers want a story behind the line.“

While the California Market Center wants convenience for attendees, according to Henry Myers, cofounder and creative director of Coeur, “The main focus is to bring the best stores and best brands to the L.A. market.”

In addition to more curated lines, intimate trade show settings and fresh styling of the products, West Coast stores are also approaching merchandise differently, according to Myers. As buyers continue to look for things that make money for their boutiques, they are stocking up on accessories, gifts and home décor.

At the end of the day, it’s the caliber of the brands that draw buyers to the trade shows. Explained to WWD, that’s the thinking of Ed Mandelbaum, co-founder of Designers & Agents, who senses an upbeat mood in the Los Angeles Market. The January 2014 show is showing a 75 percent increase from the year prior with 40 booths and 60 designers.

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