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Pure attendance rises despite the slowdown

Buyers were backing core brands in greater depth for spring 09 at womenswear show Pure at Olympia in London this week as they tightened their belts to prepare for tough times ahead.

Although some retailers confirmed they would be cutting back on spend for spring 09, talk of a recession and the credit crunch did not dominate the event. Buyers were mostly positive if cautious about the future.

Sarah Millet, owner of N Shelley of Billericay in Essex, said: “I’ve dropped a few brands for spring 09 and any new labels must provide a point of difference. I am positive though, and we will be looking to revamp the store in the next six months.”

Sandi Spence, owner of two-store independent Eden in Hawick, Scotland, said the business had experienced its best season in six years of trading thanks to strong occasionwear sales, but added: “I am cautious for next year because of the wider economy. My budgets will be flat and I will be holding back 20% for in-season spending.”

Exhibitor experience at the show was mixed. Peter Andersen, country manager at Danish brand house IC Companys, which had four brands at the event including Jackpot and InWear, said: “We opened 60 new accounts across the brands including Fenwicks and Arnotts in Dublin.”

Barry Waterman, director of eveningwear brand John Charles, also reported a good show: “We haven’t seen a great deal of new customers. Footfall seems the same but orders are up.”

However, Wenlan Yang, founder of contemporary womenswear brand Noli, said the show had been quieter. She said: “We are down on last summer’s figures from Pure. Most of our customers have trimmed their spend.”

Pure organiser Emap, which also owns Drapers, said there was a 5% increase in attendance on last August up until Tuesday lunchtime. 50% of exhibitors have rebooked for next season.

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