Bread & Butter kicked off this morning with the thronging crowds of two seasons ago back in force.
Despite no sign of UK buyers this morning, the European contingent were out in force, especially those from the Spanish domestic market.
Exhibitors seemed confident that the show would prove fruitful. WDT chief executive Pan Philippou said for him the show was about building relationships and boosting brand profile but accepted that UK buyers would be wary this season. He said: “This show is about building new relationships in the UK and although the mood amongst buyers is cautious, stores need filling and we have product we want to fill them with. I’m confident the government will steer us out of the current economic doom and gloom.”
He added: “It’s a PR exercise for both Full Circle and Firetrap. We’re here to meet people and to look for opportunities. For us those opportunities are international Our European footprint isn’t as strong as we would like and we have lots of interest from European countries out here as well as China, India and the Middle East.”
An hour in, and the show was already buzzing. Hockey players were on the roof of the Wrangler stand shooting pucks, free runners were jumping all over the main courtyard and queues outside of the G-Star Raw catwalk show tent were already 30 deep with enthusiastic visitors.
Penfield international sales manager Jag Dhami said the show was going to be a good one. “It’s really busy out there. I think it will be a good show especially for our European business.”
Mark Underwood, head of sales at Boxfresh confirmed the positive outlook. He said: “We’ve got a lot of customers coming out here and the feeling is it will be well attended from the UK.”
However Andrew Roberts, head of sales for Gola Classics said that although the queues were manic outside it did not necessarily mean the show would be busy. He said: “It looks busy with the big queues but once they are all inside they’ll probably disperse throughout the show.”