Brands are holding out to see whether big names will follow Bread & Butter to Barcelona or stay in Berlin with rival shows Seek, Panorama, Premium and Bright, with concerns the planned relocation could lead to a split in buyers.
Labels that spoke to Drapers were in a state of flux following the announcement last week (July 8) by BBB founder Karl-Heinz Müller to relocate to Barcelona for one season each year and to add South Korean capital Seoul as its first Asian location in 2015.
Gareth Jones, sales manager for British brand Duck and Cover, which left BBB this season to exhibit at Panorama for the first time, said he was waiting to see what labels like Superdry and G-Star do before committing for the next edition. BBB attracted 478 brands for last week’s edition.
“In the last few years Berlin has really established itself and shows like Seek have captured the attention of buyers, so BBB may find it difficult to lure people away. They need the big brands to make sure the pull is enough,” he said. “We’ll look at what BBB has to offer but we wouldn’t rule it out.”
Chris Dent, UK sales agent for lifestyle brand RM Williams, which exhibited at BBB this month but is undecided on whether to follow the show to Barcelona, warned the move would divide buyers.
“I don’t think buyers will make both trips. They are time pressured as they are trying to fit in six shows in Berlin so a separate journey to Barcelona will give them another reason not to attend [BBB]. Organisers need to make trade shows more buyer friendly.”
Rival show Seek, which hosted more than 120 brands last week, is now considering extending the show for next season up from its existing four floors to as many as seven, saying there will be “alternatives for any brand that wants to exhibit in Berlin, nobody has to pass on Berlin”.
Show sales director Maren Wiebus told Drapers: “We are aware of our unique portfolio and we are aiming to keep it selective but the development of our home the Kuehlhaus [on Luckenwalder str. 3] is also a factor that has to be kept in mind. The fifth floor is an option, when it comes to increasing the numbers of exhibitors. Potentially there are seven floors in total.”
Seek exhibitor Hilton Thompson, key account manager for Lyle and Scott, said this could convince buyers to stay in Berlin but he was concerned about where the big labels’ loyalties lie.
“If Seek can increase its brand count it will definitely be more attractive to buyers but if BBB poaches brands showing at Seek and Premium it will have a big impact on attendance in Berlin. It’s a big concern.”