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Rapid growth of SourceDirect surprises organizers

On the heels of reports that ASD MarketWeek saw a 14 percent increase in overall attendance at tits August 2015 show, SourceDirect—a show within a show during ASD MarketWeek that connects importers/distributors and high volume retailers with international suppliers—also reported unprecedented growth in year-over-year evaluation.

From the August 2014 show, there was a 97 percent increase in square footage, a 105 percent increase in the number of exhibitors and an 87 percent increase overall in participating countries.

“When we launched SourceDirect in August of 2013, we anticipated that it would take some time to gain traction,” noted Karalynn Sprouse, executive vice president, Merchandise Group and International Sourcing. “To see this type of expansion in just two years exceeded our expectations, and we’re looking at this unprecedented growth as confirmation that we’re providing a much-needed service to both buyers and exhibitors.”

SourceDirect is a unique platform that connects importers, distributors, and high volume retailers of general merchandise, gift, home, style, fashion and electronic accessories with appropriate suppliers from 15 different countries including Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Pakistan, South Korea, Taiwan, and USA. It also welcomed vendors from new participating countries, such as Czech Republic, Ecuador, England, Thailand, and Uzbekistan.

Via the personalized Factory Matchmaking and buyer concierge service that is offered to buyers both in advance, and on show-site, SourceDirect sourcing experts help match buyers to vendors who meet their criteria. At the August 2015 show, SourceDirect also offered a well-attended three-day seminar track including a Sourcing 101 session, which allowed attendees to engage with experts and gain tips on working with international factories and navigating the logistics of importing.

“We are extremely excited about the results of the 5th session of SourceDirect at ASD Marketweek,” enthused International Sourcing Sales Director David Pennes, “In addition to focusing on increasing the number of exhibitors and adding value for buyers with our various programs and events, our team’s strategy also included increasing the quality of exhibitors on the show floor. The feedback we continually received from both exhibitors and buyers is evidence that we were successful in this area as well.”

“This is our third SourceDirect show, and I can definitely see a difference in the type of suppliers that are here,” explained Doug Kurtz, associate merchant—imports, Ace Hardware Corporation. “The show has grown dramatically in size and the quality of merchandise and price points are great. I help source for more than 3,000 stores and my team was able to connect with at least 12 factories here already, and it’s only day two.”

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