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Brands turn their backs on Bread & Butter as show shrinks

Many brands have decided to stay away from Berlin trade show Bread & Butter when it reduces to one hall for the January edition, with several planning to exhibit at rivals Seek, Premium and Panorama instead.

B&B founder Karl-Heinz Müller confirmed this week that the show will take place on January 19-21 at Berlin Tempelhof Airport, ending months of speculation that it would be cancelled. However, he revealed the exhibition will be contained to one hall rather than the five it had for the most recent edition in July.

The UK managing director of one major brand, which has exhibited at B&B for several years but decided not to attend in January, said: “It’s a crying shame; they should just turn the lights out now. Müller has caused the problems himself [because] he didn’t reinvent the show. It will be missed by the trade.”

Another brand, which showed at B&B last season but is now moving to Seek, said: “Exhibitions are cyclical. It’s good to move with the times; the same format won’t work forever. However, it’s surprising that it has dropped back so much. We knew it was reducing in size but not by that much.”

Daniel Cook, key account manager at footwear brand Aigle, said it had already decided to move to Seek for the January show as footfall was quiet at B&B this summer. He added: “It’s a shame we had to pull out, but we had heard that a lot of retailers weren’t going to go back next season. B&B has become diluted over the years, but I’m surprised so many brands have dropped out. We’ve made the right decision.”

One sales co-ordinator of a menswear brand that showed at B&B last season said: “It’s a worry really. Buyers won’t be plentiful if it’s that small. I think we will go to Panorama. We haven’t decided on anything yet, but that’s where I see us going.”

A spokesman for Panorama, which will also take place from January 19-21, confirmed it has been contacted by some B&B exhibitors this week and said it is “currently working on a solution to support them”.

Drapers understands G-Star, which showed at B&B last season, has yet to confirm its place at January’s show.

The 200 brands that are already signed up, including Nudie Jeans and Crocs, will be exhibited in the central Urban Base. Last season, 478 exhibitors were divided between five halls: Urban Base, Urban Fashion, Urban Superior, L.O.C.K and Lunapark.

The European marketing manager of a footwear brand that has already signed up to B&B for the January edition said she was concerned about the changes.

“We’re glad they haven’t cancelled it, but this might be our last show there. The fact that it will be small next season is a real worry, especially when you think of its previous scale. Will buyers give it a miss and go to the other shows instead?”

In the summer Müller announced the January edition of B&B would re-locate to Barcelona, where it was held between 2005 and 2009, but had to cancel the plan after it failed to win enough support.

Müller is planning to run an edition of Bread & Butter in Seoul, South Korea, in September 2015.

  • Trade shows Premium, Seek, Bright and Show & Order have teamed up to offer visitors one single ticket to gain access to all four shows this January.

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