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Despite declining trade show numbers around the country, the members of the Western and English Sales Association held their own during the September Denver Market. Retail attendance was consistent with 2008 and the Market welcomed 126 new stores. Buyers from 42 states and 12 foreign countries shopped in Denver, “Discovering all of the Possibilities” the WESA Market had to offer. Some 422 exhibitors were on hand to display their products, representing more than 1,000 spring and holiday lines. Most exhibitors reported steady business and an upbeat, positive attitude to conclude the year.

Eighty-eight golfers gathered at Raccoon Creek for the 9th Annual WESA Open Benefit Tournament. The generous support of the industry’s manufacturers and sales representatives once again allowed WESA to contribute to three industry organizations: National Little Britches Rodeo Association, National High School Rodeo Association and WestTrust. The two top-ranking teams included the Denver Merchandise Mart and Western Horseman.

The Market opened on Friday with a walk-around fashion show and cocktail party for all attendees. Nineteen manufacturers showcased their latest designs during the kick-off event. The night ended with WESA’s traditional drawing for market certificates. Six lucky retailers won $500 to spend while at the Market. Winners included stores from Illinois, South Dakota and New Zealand.

Lynn Switanowski presented a well-attended retail seminar on Saturday, listing store possibilities for additional profits in the 4th quarter. Lynn, being new to the Denver Market, brought extensive experience and a fresh educational perspective. Along with the seminar, free breakfast was offered to all attendees every morning of the Market.

Expanding the seminar program, the Western & English Sales Association organized a hands-on seminar for exhibitors. Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro, gave a one-and-a-half-hour presentation on using technology to be more productive and organized while traveling. Everyone attending left the seminar with useful tips and tools to be more efficient both personally and professionally.

Back by popular demand was the Casino Night on Sunday after the close of the Market. Retailers and exhibitors alike wagered for raffle tickets and a chance to win prizes at the close of the evening. The evening also included the 3rd Annual Texas Hold’Em Tournament, which continues to grow every year.

The Denver Market continues to link exhibitors and buyers together in a professional, all-inclusive trade show venue. Consistently, year after year, retailers from around the country visit the Denver Market to “Discover the Possibilities” for the future of their business. The next Markets will be held in Denver, Jan. 15 – 19, 2010 and Sept. 10 – 13, 2010.

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