Demand for discount goods expands OFFPRICE Show

With a growing market for discount goods and a new rebrand to flaunt, the OFFPRICE Show is ready to rock the Sands Expo and Convention Center next month.

Slated to run Feb. 16-19, OFFPRICE is held every six months in conjunction with Las Vegas Fashion Week.

Its August event concluded with about 10,500 people attending. CEO Stephen Krogulski said he’s expecting about the same amount for the February event, with almost 500 exhibitors taking up 130,000 square feet on the convention center’s first floor.

“Bring some comfortable shoes because there’s a lot to be seen,” Krogulski said.

Two years ago, the show had about 8,400 attendees, 482 exhibitors and encompassed 126,000 square feet. In 2011 the event took up 120,000 square feet with 460 exhibitors.

This time around the cash-and-carry section has moved from the show floor to a separate ballroom to allow the 60 booths a little extra space. As a result, footwear and accessories will take up a larger space on the floor, also with about 60 booths.

“They’re outgrowing their hall space,” said James McWilliams, event manager for Sands Expo.

Because he’s taking up the entire first floor of the Sands Expo, Krogulski has rebranded the show’s footprint to call it the OFFPRICE campus.

“Everything’s doing quite well,” he said.

The show is produced by Tarsus Group, a company with interests in conferences, exhibitions, online media and publishing.

“They’re probably the bigger of the shows, and probably the most diverse group,” McWilliams said.

The show attracts an audience that spans multiple generations and market segments, from urban to contemporary adult.

OFFPRICE features exhibitors that sell immediate fashions to buyers that typically are gearing up for coming sales events or whoneed to add to their current collections. At the February show, many will be stocking up for their end-of-winter and spring sales, so attendees will see a lot of warm weather outfits this time around with pieces such as swimwear and lighter items. Since OFFPRICE is an order-writing show, products purchased can be in stores less than a week later.

Buyers include both independent and chain discount retailers, such as T.J. Maxx, Belz Outlet and dollar stores.

“(The segment) did very well last year. Offprice will always have its niche because people can find goods that are available right now, and they’re the right price,” Krogulski said.

A look at the niche’s big retailers paints a clearer picture.

For example, in the nine months ended Nov. 2, Ross Stores Inc. reported net earnings of $619.4 million, up from $550.2 million for the same period in 2012. Last year also saw an increase of stores across the company, up to 1,285 locations from 1,205 in 2012. Ross Stores Inc. operates Ross Dress for Less and dd’s Discounts.

Ross Stores’ major competitor, TJX Cos., also reported gains.

The TJX Cos. reported a 9 percent increase in net sales to $7 billion in its third-quarter report ended Nov. 2. The company owns T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Sierra Trading Post and Home Goods. All of the brand’s U.S. footprints increased in third quarter with the exception of Sierra Trading Post. T.J. Maxx stores increased to 1,075 from 1,052. The number of Marshalls stores increased to 914 from 841, and HomeGoods’ presence increased to 448 from 430.

OFFPRICE also attracts a large contingent of small-store owners who are looking to purchase clothing at a discount. Most of the clothes at the show are sold from 20 percent to 70 percent less than wholesale.

“It’s definitely a growing industry,” Krogulski said. “There’s a really good opportunity.”

OFFPRICE is contracted with Sands Expo through 2016, and Krogulski said he foresees being at the center past that. This is their 12th year on the property.

“Vegas is just a great place to be,” he said. “We’re looking forward to a great show and seeing everybody again.”

Contact reporter Laura Carroll at 702-380-4588 or Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.

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