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Brexit chatter stirs up day one of Berlin shows

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Drapers kicks off its spring 17 Berlin trade show coverage at Panorama, where exhibitors were pleased with the turnout from domestic buyers and Brexit was the hot topic of debate.

Panorama ss17

As the sky brightened overhead and fun beach-themed seating and food trucks lined the entrance of the Expo Center, queues of buyers stacked up this morning (June 28) to enter Berlin trade show Panorama.

The calm mood led into a crowded afternoon, as German buyers and those from other continental European countries packed the aisles. As has become the norm, British buyers very light on the ground. Some exhibitors suggested this is because many of the brands on offer show closer to home at the likes of Pure, Scoop and Moda, while for others the explanation lay in budget constraints, particularly for indies. See below for views from the show floor.

The Brexit decision was a main topic of conversation, specifically around currency and trading issues. Many European brands told of their shock at the outcome - a few describing it as a “disaster” - amid concerns about the impact on UK buyers’ budgets. Some admitted that changes are already being made. One distributor told Drapers the Brexit decision had pushed prices up, revealing that the day before votes were cast an item was sold for less than it was priced today.

Thomas Herter, head of distributed at German womenswear brand Marc Cain, added: ”We couldn’t believe the result of the Brexit. We were very shocked. Although it is early to say, it is clear it will have a negative impact on a lot of aspects of the industry. We’ve had to increase our prices because of the exchange rate and it will almost certainly have an effect on our sales.”

Seek, Premium and Bright also opened today. Keep an eye on drapersonline.com for coverage.

How was day one at Panorama?

Elvira Nass, sales director international, Luisa Cerano

It has been good for us so far. We see some UK and Irish here and every season Panorama becomes more and more international. Trade shows are going down and down though. We only show key pieces here – its less about buying now. It’s a huge investment but it’s worth it still.

Thomas Herter, head of distribution, Marc Cain

Panorama is more for mainland Europe buyers now. Some Irish and a few UK attend but most appointments are done in our showrooms there. This show is only for marketing and promotion nowadays. We don’t do any sales here at Panorama. This isn’t even a fraction of the actual collection. We don’t sell anything here at all. It’s a platform to sow new launches and show off the brand.

Karin Switalla, export manager, Marc Aurel

Panorama has been great from the very beginning of the day. We’ve seen buyers from all over, but mostly German. We’ve also seen Austrians, Swiss, Norweigian and Irish buyers. This show is slowly getting more popular. It is growing and pulling in more and more people. We’ve haven’t seen many UK buyers. We think they don’t come because Scoop and Pure are good, the Scandi shows still interest them and Paris is so easy to get to. There are also lots of people who just don’t travel to international shows anymore, which is a shame.

Hanne Kirk-Thomsen, sales co-ordinator, Culture

It has been OK so far: we’ve seen mostly German buyers, and some from Netherlands, Belgium. I don’t know why UK buyers don’t come here. I think when it’s not going well in the shops, [trade shows] are where people cut budgets.

Søren Sandgaard, area sales manager, B.Young

We’ve seen buyers from Greece, Belgium, Holland and Italy, as well as Germany. I expect to see some from the UK, but we also present at Pure so I don’t expect a lot. We’re here for the German buyers: it’s one of our strongest markets.

Paula Wilson, business development manager, Glamourous

It’s got off to a good start, we’ve seen a lot German buyers. It would be nice to see more familiar faces (from the UK) but we can see them back home, and we’re focused on growing the brand internationally. We’ve started to more regional shows like Momad in Spain and LA Market in the US, to get in front of more international buyers.

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