ICBA at ASD Market Week!
This week, Jon Bibo is in Las Vegas to endure the chilly temperatures (just kidding - it's 113 degrees!) and to attend two major shows: ASD Market Week and Las Vegas Market!
First up: ASD Market Week! A massive show that attracts over 45,000 Buyers and covers a wide range of categories, ASD Market Week features products from just about every General Merchandise category. It is a place to get super discounts, find off-price values, and develop high-margin opportunities on mostly non-licensed products.
Read on for Jon’s initial observations from ASD Market Week and how they can both impact and benefit ICBA Member stores:
First, some advice: Do NOT try to walk all of ASD in one day (like I did!). It's massive, spanning all 4 huge halls in the Las Vegas Convention Center. I recommend at least a day and a half. Each Hall features selected product categories, but each hall has hundreds and hundreds of booths.
IMHO, the value of ASD for college stores is to take smart risks. Talk internally about allocating only a certain amount of dollars and try to pick 4-6 innovative new concepts. There are so many product opportunities, one should not come to ASD without at least some plan for what categories to target. For instance, trying some fun novelty/gift items might be worth a try…or perhaps a display of affordable jewelry…or maybe socks in funky designs. The point is, virtually all of the ASD merchandise will comfortably enable you to realize IMUs (initial mark-ups) of at least 70% and often 80%. With that much room with which to “play,” you won’t get hurt too badly if mark-downs become necessary.
That’s not to say that browsing isn’t of value. There are lots of manufacturers and distributors of sunglasses, school supplies, licensed products, gifts, electronics, drinkware, and more to supplement your traditional assortment SKUs.
There's also some weird stuff at ASD:
I did not elect to get the “complimentary” 60 second eye lift...
I did not choose to go with a magenta Christmas tree this year...
I will absolutely not be Halloweening wearing a very, very scary post-apocalyptic gas mask contraption...
However, knowing that I could is part of what makes the ASD Market Week a chaotic, but potentially profitable show for college stores.
Stay Tuned for our Next Recap from Las Vegas Market!