A trunk show is a special sale in which vendors present merchandise directly to store personnel or select customers at a retail location or another unique venue. In many cases it allows store personnel to preview and/or purchase merchandise before it is made available to the public. Typically, clients view the merchandise, place orders, and then wait for the vendor to manufacture and deliver the goods.
It is particularly desirable to have the actual designer present at the event. Most small businesses do this to get more buys.
Sometimes, trunk shows sell remnant and leftover items from runways, samples, and so on. Trunk shows are so named because dresses used to be transported to these events in trunks.
Trunk shows are particularly popular in the bridal industry, in which January through May is trunk show season. At trunk shows, brides can view a larger selection of a bridal designer's collection than is normally carried in a bridal salon.
Online trunk shows
Online or virtual trunk shows are gaining traction in the luxury sector. Bergdorf Goodman held its first virtual trunk show in 2010, and Salvatore Ferragamo launched its first online show in August 2011. Linda Fargo of Bergdorf labeled virtual trunk shows "the future." Retailers add behind-the-scenes footage and customers make online purchases, usually pre-season and at full price.
- Harrington, Jolene Rae. "Brides Want to Know: Trunk Shows." 
- Marshall Heyman. Bergdorf Trunk Show Enters Cyberspace. 
- Salvatore Ferragamo. Salvatore Ferragamo Launches First Online Trunk Show. 
- TINA PENG. Why Trunk Shows Are Going Virtual 
- On Our Radar: The Virtual Trunk Show. http://www.fabsugar.com/Our-Radar-Virtual-Trunk-Show-534554
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