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Department stores missed at Who’s Next

There was a noticeable lack of department stores buyers at Who’s Next in Paris, brands told Drapers on day two of the four-day show.

“We haven’t seen anyone from Liberty, Selfridges, Galeries Lafayette – the department stores seem to be missing,” said Vitus Overgaard, export manager for Samsøe & Samsøe. European brands Yerse and Hartford observed a similar trend.

Many exhibitors found business had slowed towards the end of the first day, which some put down to the fact France was playing Germany in the World Cup that evening.

But, while it picked up again on day two, Jessica Neuquelman, export administrator for Yerse, said Who’s Next felt “quieter than last season”.

Only a handful of British buyers seemed to be doing the rounds. “That’s normal; they wait for Scoop and Pure,” said Neuquelman.

Maja Arpi, international sales and ecommerce manager for Baum und Pferdgarten, said this was short-sighted of the buyers. “It’s a big offering here, you have all the French brands. Scoop is much smaller.”

The general consensus was that Who’s Next excelled at bringing in Asian business, particularly from Japan. “They do very big orders and we don’t have any distributors or agents there,” explained Neuquelman.

Anne-Sophie Jean, sales representative for Hartford, said: “ Our business is 90% export, so people from places we don’t have agents in, like Korea and Japan, come here to place their orders.”

Key trends emerging for spring 15 included embroidery, printed trousers, lace and midi skirts.

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