The Dallas Market Center is making changes to compete more effectively with other regional markets and to make it more convenient for the buyers who shop there. Furniture will be situated together on the 4th through the 6th floor of the World Trade Center. Niche market galleries will also be created. The center has been concerned with the decline of attendance at the shows, and different ways to boost the number of attendees have been considered.
The Dallas Market Center has a new strategy in place and will sport a different look for the Super Market next month.
The Dallas Market Center
Developed over the last several months, the plan is called Focus 2000. The program was created to better position categories of merchandise. For example, during the market, Jan. 7 through 13, the fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the World Trade Center will be devoted exclusively to furniture showrooms.
Another part of Focus 2000 is the creation of niche galleries such as “Accent Express,” a showroom featuring exclusively non-inventory, ready-to-assemble, UPS-shippable home accent furniture and decorative accessories. Accent Express will be located in the sixth floor atrium. The products featured there are expected to be of interest to furniture, accessories and gift retailers, with minimum space for inventory.
“While the reorganization of furniture showrooms maximizes convenience for the buyer, Accent Express allows for the utmost flexibility,” explained the Dallas Market Center’s vice president of leasing, Dave Palmer. “As we approach the 21st century, the changing needs of the furniture buyer are constantly challenging us to explore new horizons. Focus 2000 is preparing the Dallas Market Center to meet those challenges.”
The changes are intended to increase attendance at a market that many manufacturers and buyers believe is on the wane. According to vice president of corporate communications Michael Mullins, projections to date show that attendance for the January show could be more than 30,000. Last January, attendance was 28,000.
“We’ve been looking at the building and how the dynamics of retail have changed in the 20 years since the World Trade Center was built,” said Mullins. “We realized there was a need for a repositioning of the building.”
Since the Focus 2000 program will evolve in stages, attendees might not see dramatic change at the upcoming market, explained Mullins. “The one exception to that is the continuing growth of our temporary showrooms,” he continued.
At the last market the top two floors of the 15-floor building were turned over to temporary space, and a third floor will be added to the temporary space allocation for the first time this market. Space available on the three floors totals 600,000 square feet.
“We have renamed those floors to Pavilions 1, 2 and 3,” Mullins said. “That is the most significant change this market. Otherwise the plan is one of stages. It is a long-range plan that stretches into 1996. It is important for our tenants to be comfortable and secure and know that we want to work with them.”
Additional Focus 2000 galleries include, for the third consecutive market, the broadening Home Theater gallery. It is on the fifth floor and cosponsored by Lenexa, Kan.-based retailer Benchmark, a leader in home theater.
Two other concept galleries will soon make their debut–one for closeout furniture and the other for juvenile products. Set to open in June 1995, a 13,700-square-foot, first-phase showroom will provide a destination point for discontinued products and manufacturer overruns. A program for coordinating a single gallery for juvenile product will be launched in the first quarter of 1995.
“We’re working to make Dallas the strongest regional market in the country,” said Mullins. “By bringing furniture together and concentrating it on the fourth, fifth and sixth floors, bringing in niche galleries, and concentrating our design showrooms on floors nine, 10 and 11, we will have an easier market to shop.”
Relocating from the 13th floor, bedding manufacturers will now occupy the following spaces: Spring Air, 604; Corsicana, 480; Restonic, 536; King Koil, 676; Therapedic, 450, and Serta, 482.
Several manufacturers have expanded their showrooms including Serta and King Koil. Largo, a metal-bed, daybed and bunk-bed manufacturer, will also have a bigger exhibit space.
The Dallas Market Center covers 6.5 million square feet and includes four merchandise marts. Comprised of 150 acres north of downtown Dallas, the DMC hosts 40 wholesale markets each year.