Dallas Market Center

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Dallas Market Center, located in Dallas, Texas (USA), is a 5,000,000 square foot (460,000 m²) wholesale trade center housing showrooms selling consumer products including gifts, lighting, home décor, apparel, fashion accessories, shoes, tabletop/housewares, gourmet, floral, holiday, and more. The marketplace is closed to the public but open to qualified retail buyers and interior designers, manufacturers and industry professionals. Market events throughout the year attract more than 200,000 buyers and sellers from all 50 states and more than 80 countries. According to the market center, its wholesale transactions total more than $8 billion and its local economic impact totals $380 million each year.

The campus[edit]

Dallas World Trade Center

The four-building campus includes the World Trade Center, Trade Mart, International Trade Plaza (The Plaza) and Market Hall. Inside these buildings, nearly 2,300 permanent showrooms offer more than 35,000 product lines from manufacturers around the world.

The largest building is the World Trade Center, a 3 million-square-foot (914,400 m²) building standing 15 stories. Inside the World Trade Center are showrooms including gifts, home accessories, lighting, floral, holiday, jewelry, rugs, toys, gourmet foods, furniture, bed, bath and linens. It is also home to FashionCenterDallas, an apparel and accessories marketplace for men's, women's, and children's fashion merchandise.

More gifts and decorative accessories, plus paper products, tabletop, housewares, and lighting, are located in the four floors of the Dallas Trade Mart. The building hosts two editions of the International Lighting Market each year which welcomes thousands of lighting retailers.

The two-story International Trade Plaza, which is the original building at Dallas Market Center, is now devoted to showrooms for permanent floral, floral accessories, garden and gift merchandise, and the 31,000 sq ft Outdoor Living showroom featuring a variety of products for the patio including items from Sunnyland Patio Furniture.

Most local consumers are familiar with Market Hall, the 214,000-square-foot (19,900 m²) exhibit hall which hosts approximately 60 consumer shows and exhibits annually.


Southwest Homefurnishings Mart c.1957

Dallas Market Center was founded in 1957 by real estate developer Trammell Crow. The first building was the Dallas Homefurnishings Mart, designed by Donald H. Speck. The 434,000-square-foot (40,300 m²) building was reborn in 1999 as the International Floral & Gift Center and is now known as The International Trade Plaza.[citation needed]

The first trade event at Dallas Market Center was held in July 1957 and was attended by 1,850 visitors. Today, the largest markets attract more than 50,000 attendees from all 50 states and 84 countries.

Dallas Trade Mart c.1958
Pergola in the Dallas Trade Mart Grand Courtyard c.1958

The Dallas Trade Mart, the second Dallas Market Center building, was designed by Harold Berry and Donald Speck, with Harwell Hamilton Harris and opened its doors in 1958. The project provided 980,000 square feet (91,000 m²) at a cost of $12,640,000.

The Trade Mart was the destination of President John F. Kennedy's motorcade on November 22, 1963 when he was assassinated in Dealey Plaza. He was scheduled to give a speech to 2,600 people at a sold-out luncheon in the Grand Courtyard.

In 1964, English sculptor Elisabeth Frink created the bronze sculpture "The Eagle" which sits outside the main entrance today. It features a William Blake quote and a plaque which reads, "Placed in memorial by the friends of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy who awaited his arrival at the Dallas Trade Mart Nov. 22, 1963."[1]

In 1964, the Apparel Mart opened for business at a cost of $15 million. For four decades, the building served as a trading center for women's, men's and children's apparel and accessories. It closed in 2004. Today, apparel and accessories showrooms reside on the top floors of World Trade Center, and apparel trade events held at Dallas Market Center attract buyers from around the globe. World Trade Center is the centerpiece of the campus featuring 15 floors. It opened in 1974 with only seven stories.

The massive World Trade Center, the centerpiece of the campus, opened in 1974 with seven stories but was expanded to feature 15 floors. It features a signature brown exterior and soaring atrium topped by large skylights.

A handful of home-furnishings showrooms in a single building grew to nearly 2,300 permanent showrooms across four buildings totaling over 5,000,000 square feet (460,000 m²).

Trade events and markets[edit]

Dallas Market Center hosts dozens of trade events throughout the year, including nine major markets attracting some 200,000 retail buyers.

Total Home & Gift Market is held four times each year in January, March, June, and September, while Dallas Apparel & Accessories Market takes place each January, March, June, August, and October. These shows alone are estimated to facilitate more than $8.5 billion in wholesale transactions. They also help add $382 million directly into the local Dallas economy, according to economic figures provided by the market center.[citation needed]

In addition to home and fashion focused markets, Dallas Market Center also holds specialized market events such as the Dallas Western Market and Dallas Bridal Market.

The Accessories Resource Team (ART), the trade association for home decorative accessories, partners with Dallas Market Center to sponsor the ARTS Awards gala held each January which recognizes excellence and achievement in retailing, manufacturing, design, and representation.

The Toy Industry Association holds its Fall Toy Preview at Dallas Market Center each fall. This show for mass market retailers is the toy industry's most important preview of products under development for the following year.


Dallas Market Center is owned by Dallas-based Crow Holdings and is managed by Market Center Management Company (MCMC), a diversified international company owned by Crow Holdings. MCMC and Crow Holdings have more than five decades of experience developing, owning and/or managing trade centers around the world including the Brussels International Trade Mart, Kobe Mart, INFOMART, ShanghaiMart, as well as consulting partnerships for special projects in the US and abroad.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Eagle, (sculpture). Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved January 4, 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°48′11″N 96°49′30″W / 32.803°N 96.825°W / 32.803; -96.825