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Comment: Steady spring 20 at Pure London and Scoop

Pure London spring 20

The spring 20 editions of UK trade shows Pure London and Scoop, which ran concurrently in London on 21-23 July, got off to a sunny yet slow start on Sunday, although both shows picked up across the three days.

At Pure London’s cavernous Olympia venue in west London, there were more than 800 brands on show. Doors opened on quiet halls on the first morning, but aisles began to fill as the day progressed. However, visitors were mostly concentrated in the show’s main hall and around its catwalk and presentation stage. Some exhibitors remarked that it took a while for visitors to filter through to other parts of the show – if they did at all.

For spring 20, the event maintained its womenswear focus, ranging from mainstream through to young fashion and covering a broad selection. Footwear and accessories also made up part of the event, alongside small areas dedicated to menswear, athleisure and childrenswear, and a grouping of sustainable labels.

Pure Origin, which is pitched as hub of sourcing and manufacturing exhibitors and launched in February 2018, ran concurrently alongside the show and had much lower footfall than the main show.

It was a similarly slow start on Sunday at Scoop, which took place at London’s Saatchi Gallery, but by midday on the first day the aisles were bustling with UK and Irish buyers ready to write orders.

The show had its usual premium womenswear feel and this season boasted the addition of a makeover station from make-up brand Trinny London on the ground floor. Several buyers were spotted trialling the products available on the stand throughout the day.

Scoop spring 20

Scoop spring 20

Scoop spring 20

Both shows exhibited a good number of new brands for spring 20, and many were making their UK debut at the shows this season.

As ever the Sunday at both venues was dominated by independent retailers from across the UK and Ireland, while buyers from larger key accounts and department stores expected to visit on Monday and Tuesday.

In terms of trends, there was a strong focus on feminine designs and statement dresses across both events, and floral and animal prints remained central for the new season.

Elsewhere, strong use of colour was also key, from bright and bright shades through to pastel tones. Tangerine and hot pink stood out in several collections.

“The fact that both trade shows are now on the same day and aren’t competing with each other makes sense,” said Martin Arnold, fashion portfolio director at ITE events, which organises Pure and Scoop. “Buyers can come and spend a good chunk of time at whichever show is their main focus, before taking advantage of the shuttle service and heading over to the other.”

He added: “Next season at Pure London, we’ll be moving the Conscious area, [which focuses on sustainable brands], [kidswear area] Bubble and the athleisure section down from the galleries [on the first floor] to the main area on the ground floor, which I think will create a really vibrant space. We’ll also be expanding Pure Origin, [the manufacturing and supplier area].”

Julie Osborn, country sales manager, Selected Femme – Scoop

“We had a very busy first morning. We have seen a mix of new and existing customers. We came back to Scoop last season after a five-year break, and it was great, as we picked up a lot of new customers. [Exhibiting here] is great as it gets the name of the brand out there again.”

Llinos Griffiths, owner of North Wales independent Mirsi – Scoop

“I come to Scoop every season to find new brands and to speak to my current brands. The atmosphere is friendly – it isn’t too big to get around. I’ve already seen a couple of nice new brands I might pick up.”

Helen Looker, owner of Surrey-based independent Paradise Boutique – Scoop

“I normally attend Scoop every season: it is one of my go-to shows. It is the right size to get around in a day. I also attend Pure and Top Drawer. I come for new brands – I picked up Scotch & Soda here last season. I’ve seen a few good-quality new brands this morning, so I’m pleased.”

Mark Strudwick, head of sales, Liberty London – Scoop

“There’s been a nice flow of people, but I think trade shows in general are dead and need to shake the format up a bit. There are a lot around and they’re all very much the same these days. That said, we’ve already seen some of our existing customers and new buyers today. Scoop typically attracts smaller buyers rather than large retailers, but we expect them to come along at some point. We come to Scoop because it’s good to show off the Liberty brand and the different collections that we offer. We’d rather see buyers from bigger companies though, as smaller buyers tend to place smaller orders, but it still takes the same amount of time and effort to process.

Pure London spring 20

Pure London spring 20

Ruthie Nash, assistant sales manager, PS Paul Smith – Scoop

“We’re doing well at the show so far. This is at the end of our selling window, and it is a nice opportunity to network. A trade show takes the pressure off for the buyers to come see us, as they can visit at their leisure without the need to make an appointment and come all the way to the showroom. We sometimes miss some of the buyers in the showrooms, so this is a good chance to catch them – we do also see new customers here as well.”

May Kassem, co-founder, Scarabaeus Sacer – Pure London

“Footfall has been so-so. I feel that the Conscious section of the show is getting less traffic than some of the bigger main halls as people have to make their way upstairs. The visitors we have seen have been a real mixture of buyers from the UK and Europe.”

Anbhay Sadh, partner, Nehklank Textiles – Pure London

“For us, it has been a very quiet show in the Origins section. There has been significantly fewer visitors than we were expecting, and it has been difficult to attract people to the stand. We haven’t seen anyone of note.”

Emily Kazafaniotis, brand manager, Sistaglam – Pure London

“It’s been quite a good atmosphere overall at Pure, but we’re fortunate that our stand is in a good location [in the main hall]. Elsewhere there seems to be low footfall and its very quiet – this hasn’t picked up. This season the music is not as loud during the catwalks and shows, which is good, but it needs some background music throughout the whole day to uplift visitor’s moods. We were told that we were supposed to showcase spring 20, but buyers are also looking for stock that they want now.”

Scoop spring 20

Scoop spring 20

Betty Corcoran, founder, About Betty – Pure London

“People seem to be less cautious about spending than at the last show in February. My stand is in a walkway, so for me it feels really busy, but when I walk around, I don’t notice very many visitors. The quality of visitors has been good though: lots of professionals, shop owners and press.

“I think the layout is really good and people have toned down their stands a bit. Before they were really fancy and cluttered, but this year brands have made the space more basic to accentuate the products. The music is also much quieter, which is nice and means we can hear ourselves think.”

Nicola Allum, senior merchandiser, Brave Soul – Pure London

“Compared with last year, it is very quiet. We were quite concerned on the morning of day one, as there was hardly anyone walking around. People’s budgets are certainly lower than normal and therefore they are buying more cautiously. Last season people would purchase four to five styles and now they’re only looking to buy two or three – hopefully this will change.”

Kate Hill, founder, sustainable kidswear brand Lola Starr – Pure London

“It’s been really, really quiet: footfall has been very low up in the Bubble area of Pure London. There hasn’t been much interaction from buyers, but fortunately the brand has been well received.

“Overall, it seems that buyers are spending a lot less this season. Luckily for us, our pricing is fairly high, but we’re a sustainable brand and so buyers don’t mind spending a bit more.

“Next season Bubble is moving downstairs, which will be a lot better for kidswear brands, but we might not attend next season – we might just stick to pure kidswear trade shows instead.”

Gentiana Nicolae, managing director, premium womenswear brand Prenom G – Pure London

“We expected it to be a lot busier, but it’s been quite quiet. Visitors are looking for low-price fast fashion brands and buyers seem to be less willing to spend on higher prices – which is strange considering the drive towards sustainable fashion.

“I think Brexit has influenced cutting costs because it’s made buyers more cautious to spend, they are tightening their purse strings, spending cheaper and being more conservative.”

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