February 17, 2023
Shoppe Object Winter 2023 draws record attendance

Shoppe Object took place Feb. 5-7 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side at Pier 36.

According to show executives, the event featured a larger footprint than before, a bigger brand count, a sold-out floor and record-breaking attendance.

The show recently underwent an expansion, with 30% more exhibition space to help facilitate 150 new brands (for a total of 600-plus cross-channel participants). Attendees represented six continents, 38 countries and all 50 states.

“We had two clear objectives for this market,” shared Shoppe Object’s founder and show director, Jesse James. “To fill the new pavilion without sacrificing an ounce of quality, and to attract new buyers at a rate that outpaced the expansion.”

Visitors arrived in record numbers to the three-day market, with a 35% increase over Shoppe Object’s August edition — a 60% jump from the previous year — for its largest-ever audience. The crowd included a sizable post-pandemic uptick in new buyers, 55% who were visiting Shoppe Object for the first time.

“Lots of excitement and enthusiasm this market!” said Ruth Shapiro, director of sales and business development for the Museum of Modern Art. “The show has expanded to include many more exhibitors. Clearly Shoppe Object is where the best and most interesting vendors and products are to be found.”

Attending retailers included national chains such as Anthropologie, Hallmark, Free People and more.

Department stores included Beams and Tomorrowland from Japan, Selfridges and Liberty of London, Merci Paris, and a wide range of familiar domestic names like Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales and more. Attendees also included museum stores and independent retailers.

The show’s expanded footprint included a new entrance through a 20,000-square-foot annex adjoining the existing Pier 36 location.

“Our new pavilion provided an increase that was vital to our organic growth — now our audience is realizing that spending any less than two full days at Shoppe Object is a missed opportunity,” shared Renata Bokalo, Shoppe Object’s director of sales.

Home brands now represent 45% of the roster, with accessories making up 30%, and the final 25% comprised of gift.

Bringing new international faces to the floor was Shoppe Object’s Global Artisans Project, a collaboration with ByHand Consulting to present a selection of handmade goods from makers dedicated to preserving craft techniques and supporting artisan communities. The participating brands hailed from Uzbekistan, Morocco, Ghana and Columbia.

Shoppe Object’s ongoing Black Lives Matter Action Initiative (BLMAI) continued in partnership with Ribbon, the show’s e-commerce development arm. Together, they sponsor the booths of 10 new Black-owned brands at Shoppe Object each season, with 10 additional brands continuing on the online marketplace, Shoppe Online. Participating brands spanned categories from personal accessories to home fragrance to textiles.

“This program could be life-changing for small businesses like mine,” shared Sugar Taylor, whose eponymous lifestyle brand was among the BLMAI selections this market.

Lynnet Muritu of MimiPambo, a jewelry brand that exhibited through the BLMAI program, added: “The exposure was outstanding, we learned so much, and our business is expanding because of it. The best part was the community of other brands around us and the depth of knowledge they shared with us in just those three days.”

The Shoppe Object brand will expand to High Point Market starting in October 2023. The next New York edition of Shoppe Object will return to the Riverside and Cityside Pavilions at Pier 36 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side Aug. 13-15.

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