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Brands flock to rival shows as B&B is cancelled

Berlin trade shows Panorama and Seek have revealed details of their last-minute plans to accommodate more brands this week, as Bread & Butter confirmed its January edition has been cancelled.

Following months of speculation about the future of B&B Berlin, founder and managing director Karl-Heinz Müller released the following statement on Tuesday: “Not least due to self-inflicted turbulences, we have not been able to motivate a sufficient number of exhibitors to participate this season.

“I am convinced of the fact that our success concept cannot be continued by repeating the past. Maybe something great has to end so that something new can arise. This is not the end. We will return.”

Long-time exhibitors have been flocking to rival trade shows over the past couple of weeks, as it became increasingly likely B&B would be cancelled. Many were spooked by B&B’s announcement on December 1 that it would shrink the exhibition space from five halls to one.

Sharon Fraser, sales executive at Glamorous, which has showed at B&B for the past six seasons and had signed up for the January edition, told Drapers the womenswear brand will now go to Panorama. She said: “I’m surprised things got so bad that they had to cancel; it’s a real shame. It was always a busy show for us, but footfall overall had dropped off over the last few seasons. We are in the process of getting our deposit refunded.”

Ashley Cummings, UK agent for footwear brand Fly London, which showed at B&B previously, said it will attend Panorama next season. But he added: “It’s not a like-for-like trade show swap, which is a big concern; B&B attracted international buyers whereas Panorama is good for the domestic German market. [However] it is filling a gap, let’s hope it’s busy.”

As a result of demand from former B&B exhibitors, Panorama has extended its exhibition space by 43,000 sq ft for the next edition in January.

It has added an Urban Up area on the first floor at its Messe Berlin venue, above the existing nine halls, taking the space at ExpoCenter City on the grounds of the Messe Berlin to 403,500 sq ft in total.

Anita Tillmann chief executive of Premium and Seek said both trade shows are experiencing “constant growth”.  Seek has grown from 120 brands to 220 for the January edition, and has more than doubled its size adding an additional 37,169 sq ft of space to take the total to 64,583 sq ft in the new location Arena in Eichenstraße 4, Berlin.

Alison Lawton, European marketing manager of footwear brand Rocket Dog, which had also signed up for the cancelled edition of B&B said: “We pulled out a couple of days before it was announced and we are getting a refund on our deposit. It’s a shame – it was a fantastic show. We are currently deciding what other Berlin show would work for us.”

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