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Industry seeks 'synergies' as Scoop's owner buys Pure

Independent retailers, brands and agents were largely supportive of the corporate takeover of Pure London this week, believing more “synergies” will be created across UK trade shows. 

ITE, owner of Moda, Scoop and Jacket Required, completed its £300m purchase of Ascential’s exhibition division, which operates Pure London, and Spring and Autumn Fair on 17 July.

Mark Shashoua, chief executive of ITE, said the exhibitions will receive investment following the deal: “Under ITE’s ownership we look forward to treating [these events] as core, giving them the investment, management focus and international platform they need to grow.”

Ian Campbell-Smith, director at sales agency Palladio Associates, said the deal was an opportunity to create more synergy between the shows: “I think the opportunity for a linked event between Scoop and Pure could be beneficial, as at the moment that’s not happening.

“There is a crossover [in terms of brands] between Scoop and Pure but only 15%-20%. There is not much cross-pollination and the two events could allow London to be a stronger location.”

Another womenswear agent said the shows should be consolidated: “I’ve always been of the opinion that there should be only one major show for our sector. It’s for the convenience of the buyers and many buyers do both. It’s expensive and not convenient.”

Cheryl Sivewright, owner of womenswear independent Woodlane of Doune, agreed that co-ordinating the shows or putting two shows under one roof would reduce costs for retailers: “If they are all under one roof, then you can see everyone at the same time. We have to come down [to London] three times per season and financially it doesn’t make sense. At the end of the day I have to incorporate costs into my prices and make sure it’s viable to go to all those different destinations.”

However, Deryane Tadd, director and owner of The Dressing Room in St Albans, cautioned that the shows needed to preserve their individual identities: “As long as they keep a clear difference between [the shows], it will be OK. You don’t want Pure to turn into Moda. They each have their place in the industry and they target very different businesses. I’ve always thought it sensible to have [Pure and Scoop] on at the same time, especially for people not local to London.”

Sue Axon, director of GH Warner, which exhibits women’s flip-flop brand Ipanema at both Pure London and Moda, and also represents Ruby Shoo and new label Coloko, said she found Moda’s location in Birmingham preferable to Pure venue Olympia London, as it has parking and is easy to access from around the country and Ireland.

Nevertheless, she did raise concerns about what the deal may mean for pricing for exhibitors with the shows under the same ownership: “I am concerned it may hamper our bargaining power. But overall I think it is a good move because ITE are good organisers and I wish them luck.”

Maximilian Mang, marketing manager at footwear brand Caprice, which exhibits at Moda and Pure London said: “At this early stage it is hard to tell what consequences might derive from the deal. After the discontinuation of [Düsseldorf footwear show] GDS [which held its last edition in February 2017], we have sensed a shift in buyers moving from large international trade shows to country-specific events. We hope both events benefit from the newly created synergy and only become stronger after joining forces.”




Readers' comments (1)

  • Eric Musgrave

    Mark Shashoua, chief executive of ITE, was CEO of i2i Events (aka the Ascential exhibition division) from 2010-2015, so one presumes he knows exactly what he has bought. One of the never-ending conflicts between exhibition organisers and the fashion sector is that the former make most money from very large shows that run consistently for years (ideally on the same date), while the fashion industry appears to prefer small, sector-specific events that rarely sit comfortably together. Anyone who wants to know how an exhibition organiser can screw up a (relatively) good thing, only has to remember what happened when EMAP (Ascential's predecessor and my employer at the time) moved 40° and Pure and other minor events down to Docklands around 2003. Such "synergies" (usually a synonym for cost-savings) suited EMAP but did not suit the industry and the while thing fell apart within a very few seasons. Pure is the only survivor of that debacle.
    The smaller shows, such as Jacket Required and Scoop, appear to be the more viable and relevant of the new ITE fashion pack, but presumably a small show brings only small rewards.
    A central question for any exhibition organiser in the fashion sector is what is the raison d'etre for a large show when the number of independents - the core audience - is declining at such an alarming rate A final point - I can see no chance for ITE to take any of its London- or Birmingham-based shows international. Every major market already has its own events, so why would they need or support a British-owned option too?

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