Exhibitors and buyers were in a positive mood on the second day of the Pure trade show in London as footfall picked up and retailers could be seen on stands making orders.
Brands said the fair was noticeably busier on the second day after some buyers had difficulty accessing the Olympia venue in west London yesterday due to road closures following a cycling event, while others stayed away to enjoy the sunshine.
Rosie Batt, senior executive of wholesale at ethical clothing brand People Tree, said: “Footfall was quiet yesterday; it seems a lot busier today. Many buyers did a recce on Sunday and are now writing orders today. We have had a lot of existing customers come by and new customers too, and we have been writing orders. It feels like a good show.”
With Pure - which has about 800 brands and runs until Wednesday August 4 - running concurrently with fellow womenswear trade show Scoop this season, she added: “It’s really tricky for exhibitors running Scoop and Pure together as we can’t see the other show and see what other brands are doing, but it’s good to get more international buyers here. Buyers seem a bit more time poor as they are splitting their time between the two shows, but I don’t think it will affect sales.”
Desmond Wong, sales director at young fashion brand Almost Famous, agreed that Pure and Scoop being on at the same time was positive, as it brought buyers from across the country and internationally to London at one time.
He said: “Yesterday the traffic wasn’t as good as today. We have had good orders coming through today. Yesterday we found people were browsing and buyers have come back today and placed orders.” However, he felt there had been fewer buyers from Ireland, which he thought was down to it being a bank holiday.
He said the market seemed more upbeat, as he had been speaking to new retailers looking to launch in the next few months and “we haven’t heard much about that in the last few years”.
Glenis Farr, owner of footwear indie Twentyfour Shoes in Clevedon, felt the show had picked up in terms of footfall on the second day and had been “more enjoyable this season with more people, better exhibitors and more interesting product”.
“The quality is better and each company has put more thought into it. It had got a bit staid. There’s a lot more colour and new styles. It’s like we had been in a wilderness and now coming out.”
Conversely, Aoife Burke, wholesale support manager at White Stuff, felt it was busier on the first day of the show: “We thought it would be busier today but it’s a bit quiet. A lot of people are going to Scoop too and it’s affecting footfall. Last season in February we didn’t have many new customers but we have had more new enquiries this time, and about a 70:30 split between existing and new customers.”
Joanna Stockdale and Susan Nuttall, buyers for Wakefield premium womenswear indie Capretti, had been to Scoop yesterday and when they arrived at Pure said the show “had a nice feel to it” and there were some strong brands, but it was “quieter” than previous seasons.
For Aine McCourt, sales and marketing manager at dress brand Emily and Fin, “it feels like things are back on track” after the recession.
“We have seen a lot of international buyers as well as those from the UK, from places like Japan and the US,” she said. “Everyone is looking for something unique; they don’t want trend-driven pieces, they want things that standout and something really different that makes their customers keep coming back into their stores. They are looking for new brands and we haven’t heard that for a long time.”
While the ground floor of Pure was busy with buyers, upstairs the footwear and jewellery sections were much quieter.
Danae Dade, UK wholesale manager for footwear brand United Nude, noted that the Premium room - where her stand was - was much quieter than the rest of the show, but footfall had been about the same across the two days.
“I don’t think enough people know we’re up here. The signage could be a lot better and they could have people handing information out. They could be doing more to drive more traffic,” she said.
Like Drapers, Pure is part of Top Right Group.