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Quality buyers despite low footfall on second day of Moda

Day two of mainstream Birmingham trade show Moda was quiet on the floor, yet exhibitors reported quality buyers and deals being done on stands.

Justin Morgan, managing director of HB Shoes, which was showing Ara, Steptronic for men and Salamander for kids in the footwear hall at the NEC, said: “It’s been very good and I didn’t think I’d be saying that because there’s a degree of lethargy at the moment. The measure for me is I haven’t had lunch on either day so far.

“The general comment seems to be that the footfall is down, but I haven’t left the stand so I haven’t been aware of it.”

Exhibitors said there had been a good mix of multiples and independents so far at three-day show, which finishes on Wednesday.

Anton Jenkins, UK sales director for Belfast-based supplier Douglas & Grahame, said: “We usually see more multiples on the Monday, but there have been a lot of indies. I get the feeling they’re taking it a bit more seriously. It’s been busy all day.”

Graeme Jenkins, sales manager of footwear brand Padders’ parent company Groococks, agreed: “Today (Monday) has been a lot busier than yesterday so far. On Sunday we saw some good quality buyers but it was quite steady, whereas today we have been busy all morning.

“We expect to see a lot of our independent retailers and we’ve also seen buyers from the likes of QVC and Amazon.”

Jason Lynch, who was showing nautical-inspired Dutch brand Gaastra at Moda Gent, said: “The show has been very quiet but the people on have been really good. We couldn’t be happier with the accounts coming in.

“I was expecting today to be busier than yesterday. It’s not, but I’ve had the right people. I’d rather that than a buzzier atmosphere.”

However, Anne Horton, director of retail for department store chain Beales, buying for 29 stores, was left wanting more from the show.

“As we have already visited Berlin, Pure, Scoop, AIS and many showrooms for spring 16 buying, there wasn’t an awful lot at Moda we hadn’t seen before. Even in areas in which Moda is strong, like prom dresses and special occasion, we found that the suppliers just hadn’t come up with anything with a different point of view.

“We did place some orders for lingerie and nightwear on Sunday, but we decided not to go back on Monday.”

As at others shows, the Irish contingent appeared to be thin on the ground. Morgan said: “The weather has been so terrible, there has been no summer season. And the exchange rate has made it difficult to buy anything in sterling. There are a few Irish here but they’ve said it’s tough and their purse strings are tighter than the UK retailers.”

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