Buyers were in shorter supply during the final day of the Panorama trade show in Berlin today (July 9), but confidence remained high thanks to the influx of international visitors on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Exhibitors told Drapers traffic was noticeably down as the show wound up and buyers moved on to other fairs taking place around the German capital, including Premium and Seek, which both finish tomorrow.
Despite this, brands felt Panorama had enjoyed an overall rise in footfall over the three days compared to previous seasons as buyers - particularly those from foreign countries - abandoned the much reduced Bread & Butter.
Panorama founder Jörg Winchmann told Drapers: “This has been the best show ever, attracting lots of visitors from over 90 countries. In fact our exhibitors have been very excited by the number of international visitors. Over 50% of visitors come to Panorama from outside Germany. However, going forward we would like the grow both the number of international exhibitors and buyers still further.”
“The third day here at Panorama is quiet but we expected that,” said Jochen Digel, chief executive of mainstream menswear brands Digel and Digel Move.
“However the first day was like a disco, you couldn’t move for people. It helps that B&B has ended; we used to show at both Panorama and B&B but we stopped going there last year and we really think that Panorama is the right show for us. It attracts the right mix of customers, including buyers not only from Germany but also Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland. We have also met some buyers from the UK and Ireland. I think the show has become more international since B&B ended.
“Zalando’s idea to open [B&B] up to consumers might work, as it does with other events such as Chic in Beijing, but it’s difficult to guess.”
Flemming Warrer Jensen, sales director at womenswear brand Ichi, added: “Tuesday was fantastic, we were fully booked from the beginning to the end. Yesterday was okay, but today is quiet. This fair is better than when B&B was around, a lot of people are definitely coming here rather than there.”
He said buyers seem “confident” but suppliers now need to provide them with greater support throughout the season, rather than just selling them product at a fair. “It’s not as easy to be a supplier today as it was before.”
“Today is much quieter than the first day, which was extremely busy,” reported Gerhard Kränzle, owner and chief executive of mainstream men’s and womenswear brand Atelier Gardeur.
“For us the first day of the show was the best day in the history of Panorama so far. The show does attract international customers, as well as obviously a lot of German accounts. For example, we’ve seen buyers from the UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain and Scandinavia. Our task going forward will be to work with the organisers of Panorama to attract even more international visitors.”
Meyer’s sales manager for southern Europe Dagmar Emmerich added: “The last day of the show is always quieter than the first and second days, although we have noticed visitors seem to come in the morning and then go to the other shows in the afternoons.
“We like the show and think it has a good environment. We come to target German buyers, although we have seen some UK buyers and a few Scandinavians. Participation from southern Europe has been quiet, but we expect that and tend to meet them at Pitti Uomo.”
But Dorien Meindertsma, head of sales at Dutch brand Yaya, said: “People are saying there aren’t many new trends or new style shapes as last season. They are searching for something new and different and we are popular because of our lifestyle offer and as there are so many prints and colours, we are an oasis of quietness in the fair [as the brand offers a quieter selection of more muted colours and prints].”
To watch the latest Drapers Talks on the differences this season between Bread & Butter and Panorama, click here.