All eyes on Sri Lankan stall at 'Magic' apparel show 2004
Sunday Observer - Sunday, December 14 2003
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Tri Star Apparel Exports and Hidramani have confirmed their participation from Sri Lanka at the largest apparel trade show "Magic" to be held in February 2004 in Las Vegas.

It is a bi-annual show which has continued for 71 years and it attracts over 85,000 buyers for each show with over 7,000 booths covering 800,000 square feet of floor space.

This show with a potential selling power of over 64 billion dollars attracts the top 37 buying clusters in North America, said President, SUMMIT Corporation and Sri Lankan representative for the MAGIC show, Hiran Jayasinghe.

He said that over 100,000 buyers from 110 countries, 7,000 exhibitors and 33,000 departmental stores representing stalls will take part at the event to be held in February.

The special events include fashion shows, free educational seminars and a website. The fashion show comprise three segments with the latest fashions and designs in men's, women's and children's clothing are on display. The seminars focus on the latest industrial topics and concerns by some of the leading names in the business.

He said that 93% of US garment suppliers buy their products through contacts made at this show. Around 52% of the buyers who participate at the show are vice presidents of the respective companies and the majority of them look for new buyers.

Jayasinghe said that 12 reputed companies such as Federator, Ann Taylor were looking around for the Sri Lankan stall. "Therefore if we could market ourselves and deliver on time, there will be no problem to secure orders as big names in the apparel trade would always look out for new buyers for their purchases. "Magic" is one such place to secure orders," he said.

China, realising the importance of this event increased its participation on each occasion. "Last February, China had three booths but at the August exhibition their participation increased to 108 and this year China has already reserved 300 booths. However it is expected to have 1,000 booths for the next February exhibition."

Participation from the SAARC region too has increased with India, Bangladesh and Nepal reserving 58, 11 and 5 booths respectively. He said when Bangladesh made its debut at the event, it had secured deals worth US $ one million. In August, they were able to secure orders worth over US$ 30 million.

"During the exhibition in February, trade deals worth over US $ 60 billion were sealed. Even exporters who visited the exhibition secured orders", said Jayasinghe. He said that at the August show, 5400 new buyers representing 3200 new companies attended it and the number of visitors too increased by 11 percent when compared to the 2003 February show.

In 2004 Magic, retail relations department would introduce one of the most aggressive retail promotional campaigns in the industry including over 6000 face-to- face meetings, 80,000 phone calls, round table dinners with key retail stores arranging meetings and private conference space for key attendees. VIP hotel reservation services, buying office updates and niche targeted mailings of exhibitor post cards.

Formerly known as the Men's Apparel Guild in California, Magic was founded in 1933 as an association of Los Angeles Area men's wear manufacturers. In 1942, the association known then as the Men's Wear Manufacturers of Los Angeles produced its first show, the Roundup, at Palm Springs.

During the same year the association also began producing Market Weeks in Los Angeles. Boys wear was officially added to the show in 1946.

In 1948, the Men's wear Manufacturers of Los Angeles voted to change the name of the association and form a corporation. Since the membership had grown to include manufacturers outside Los Angeles the name was changed to Men's Apparel Guild in California (MAGIC). In 1979, MAGIC opened its doors to manufacturers worldwide and due to enormous growth the venue of the show was shifted from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in 1989. In 1995 MAGIC expanded to include women's apparel with the introduction of WWDMAGIC a joint venture with women's wear daily. In 1997, MAGIC purchased children's Trade Expo and launched MAGIC kids. Soon after in 1998, MAGIC International was acquired by Advanstar Communications and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Advanstar Communications Inc. More details can be obtained from the MAGIC website MAGICtradeshow.us or e-mail Hiran@MAGICtradeshow.us

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