November 2, 2020
ASTRA partners with Dallas Market Center for January market

Dallas Market Center has announced that ASTRA, the American Specialty Toy Association, will participate in the January Total Home & Gift Market that runs Jan. 6-12, 2021. ASTRA is an international not-for-profit trade organization that serves more than 1,700 independent retailers, manufacturers and sales representatives of the specialty toy industry.

The organization is creating dedicated space for its member-vendors in the Temps at Total Home & Gift Market that runs Jan. 6-9, to include dozens of brands seeking an efficient and safe venue to serve retailers. Further, the organization will hold networking opportunities in order to support business innovation and growth for independent retail.

“We must continue to serve our members with hands-on experiences and networking at live events that will inspire and educate. Dallas has clearly created a marketplace that is delivering tremendous value for its community of manufacturers, reps and retailers. They are doing it with utmost attention to safety and customer care. We look forward to working with them on new ways to serve specialty toy stakeholders and support success,” said Sue Warfield, interim president of ASTRA.

“ASTRA is an organization that deserves our full support as they adapt and lead the way for the business of play. In Dallas, we have all of the ingredients for their success: the space they need, the buyer traffic, the operational support and the health and safety measures. We look forward to welcoming them and working with them in partnership to serve more customers and drive growth,” said Cindy Morris, president and CEO of Dallas Market Center.

ASTRA joins other leading trade organizations and buying groups such as ProSource, GC Buying Group, ART, the Holiday & Decorative Association, American Lighting Association, and many others who have announced plans to participate in the Dallas winter shows. In January 2020, more than 40 organizations representing tens of thousands of members and hundreds of millions of dollars in purchasing power, conducted business at Dallas Market Center including private buys, new resource reviews, market tours, networking events, workshops, and other activities designed to sharpen business skills, gather industry intelligence, and procure merchandise from showrooms and temporary exhibits.

Dallas hosts multiple events in January 2021 following summer and fall events that were the most successful in the U.S. Dallas Market Center leads the nation with strong attendance and confident order writing inside a productive, inspiring and safe marketplace. More new buyers and buyers from more states are doing business in Dallas: over the last 120 days Dallas Market Center has seen a rapid increase in new buyer applications and attendance from 47 states at trade events and open houses.

Supporting the comfort, health and safety of all attendees, the market center continues measures that began earlier in the summer and will remain in place for the foreseeable future. Those protocols include mandatory face covering and temperature screening for every person entering the marketplace every day. Other efforts included low contact entry via the Market FastPass, which saw a dramatic adoption in the summer, as well as enhanced cleaning with hospital grade products, hundreds of hand sanitizing stations, limited food service, no gatherings, and signage for social distancing. Along with these new steps, there are safety measures that are part of the design of the marketplace: open parking, large entryways, quick registration in multiple areas, wide hallways, multiple escalators, and showrooms with controlled access to allow for the appropriate distance between customers.

Dallas is first in January with Total Home & Gift Market taking place January 6-12 and Temps Jan. 6-9; Lightovation takes place Jan. 7-10; Apparel & Accessories Market takes place Jan. 12-15; KidsWorld Jan. 12-15; the Dallas premiere of the largest Western and English trade events: WESA’s International Western/English Apparel & Equipment Trade Show plus AETA International Trade Show take place Jan. 14-17; and Dallas Men’s Show takes place Jan. 23-25.

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