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Bubble bursts at London kidswear show

There was a deflated mood at kidswear trade show Bubble London this week, with observers citing fewer exhibitors and attendees as the cause.

The biannual event took place at the Business Design Centre in Islington on July 12 and 13.

Brands Drapers spoke to at the close of the final day had seen buyers from Selfridges, Fenwick and Childrensalon, but said that overall it had been quiet. Footfall figures were not available.

Bubble, which is run by Moda organiser ITE, promised more than 280 exhibitors from across the kidswear sector. However, exhibitors said it felt smaller than previous seasons.

“Bubble is one of the more expensive kidswear shows to exhibit at, so to not be getting the return on investment isn’t good,” said on exhibitor. “We haven’t got the adjacencies here any more to pull in the buyers we need and the ones we do have are positioned nowhere near us.”

Another kidswear brand said: “We’re not based in London, so when you add up hotel costs, travelling and parking on top of the cost of the stand, you have to be getting the same amount back and we haven’t seen that. Maybe we’ll give it one more season to see if it picks up because February was good.”

Bolton-based Natalie Sullivan, who plans to launch a kidswear etailer later this year, said: “From a buyer’s point of view there is still a good selection of brands here and we’ve received a lot of attention on each stand, but that usually suggests it has been quiet. We’ve been told by brands they took more money at other, cheaper shows.”

Bubble London event director Lindsay Hoyes told Drapers: “Early indications are that visitor numbers were flat on last season, but the feedback we’ve had from exhibitors over the course of the event was that buyers were of a very high quality and were placing strong orders for next season.

“We’ve also seen a significant increase in international buyers this month – something we’ve been working on season-on-season, and an area we’ll be developing further in 2016.”

The next edition of the event will take place on January 31 and February 1, 2016.

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