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End of recession in sight, say young fashion buyers

Young fashion buyers are predicting the retail sector will come out of recession next year, but said they would approach the spring 10 season, which kicks off at Bread & Butter (B&B) next month, with caution.

Of the young fashion indies surveyed by Drapers, 73% said spring 10 trading would be better than spring 09. However 54% said they would hold buying budgets at existing levels until they were more certain of the future. Of the 30 indies polled, 60% said they did not plan to attend B&B, which has relocated from Barcelona to Berlin this season.

It was a similar picture among young fashion brands. Long-standing exhibitors Hilfiger Denim, Henleys, French Connection and Gio-Goi have opted to show at alternative shows or use new initiatives to present their spring 10 collections.

French Connection told Drapers it would show at directional trade fair Premium in Berlin, which takes place on same dates as B&B, July 1-3. Manchester-based brand Henleys said it was investing in other areas of the business while Hilfiger Denim said it would be investing in showroom activity. Gio-Goi will host a 21st anniversary catwalk at Berlin’s Club Maria on July 2 to coincide with B&B’s dates.

Despite the notable absences, more than 550 brands, including Levi’s and Boxfresh, G-Star and Fly53, have signed up to exhibit.

Jason Eames-Illingworth, Wrangler’s commercial director for the UK and Republic of Ireland, said: “Professional buyers from all the major stores will attend but we may see the indies cutting back on travel.”

Roger Wade, founder of consultancy Brands Incorporated, added: “People aren’t shopping around for new brands right now. Brands aren’t making money in export and are scaling that back.”

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