Pricing issues and recession fears sparked caution among buyers at London kidswear show Bubble this week.
Exhibitors said the effects of the weak sterling against the euro meant buyers were considering purchases carefully for autumn 09.
Joanne Davidson, design and production assistant at high-end girls’ brand Rachel Riley, said: “Every buyer is being much more cautious. Most came to the show for a look rather than to put down orders and went away to think about what they would buy into.”
But Deborah Medhurst, founder and director of No Added Sugar, said: “We’ve had a fantastic show – our best ever – and the show as a whole was busy and buoyant.
“Buyers were cautious and cut down on volume, but still bought from every style. Because most of our manufacturing is done in Europe, we’ve been squeezed by the strong euro, so we have cut our margins.”
Some kidswear indies said the kidswear market had yet to feel the effect of the downturn. Kidswear is traditionally one of the last sub-sectors to feel the pinch, with consumers said to be unwilling to compromise on the quality and quantity of what they buy for their children.
Rachel Wakefield, co-owner of Rococo in Dartford, Kent, said: “The old adage says that a recession means a baby boom, which is potentially great for us. The credit crunch has not affected the way we are buying.”
The next edition of Bubble London will run from June 21-23 at the Business Design Centre on Upper Street in Islington, north London.