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UK independents flock to Bubble London

Bubble London got off to a healthy start on Sunday, February 1, with buyers from UK independents outside the capital using the weekend to travel in to place orders. 

More than 280 exhibitors from across the kidswear sector packed into the London Business Design Centre for the start of the autumn 15 edition of the bi-annual event.

Those Drapers spoke to following the opening morning were in high spirits, despite larger accounts holding off visiting until the start of the working week. 

Footwear sales agent for Replay, Darren Reynolds, said the brand was beginning a greater push for its kidswear arm and was pleased with the turnout.

“The stand had seen a good flow of visitors by mid day, particularly independents from Scotland and the north of England because today is their day off and it’s further to come, we’ll see the bigger stores based nearby tomorrow.”

The expectations were echoed by Bench, which returned to Bubble this season after four years away from the event. International marketing coordinator Gemma Bratt said: 

“A lot of the smaller stores are closed on a Sunday so [owners] can travel down today and make sure they don’t lose out on trading during the week. International visitors are a bit different and we’ve already had a buyer from Switzerland.”

Owners of kidswear outlet The Pud Store, Frances Bishop and Rachel Mawby, travelled down from the Midlands to talk to suppliers and meet new brands to fill their two upcoming store launches in Nottingham and Doncaster.

“Our plan is to look to today and make orders tomorrow, that way we can go away and think about things properly and make sure we’re bringing in labels that fit our business.”

Alongside the exhibitions, a number of talks are being held over the two days as part of Bubble London’s ‘Look Who’s Talking’ seminar programme. On day one, business coach Jim Jordan, creative agency founder Martin O’Toole and Henry Patterson, the ten-year-old founder of kids lifestyle brand Not Before Tea, shared their insights with visitors.

In the closing hours of the opening day, new-to-the-UK kidswear brand for girls Oh…My! picked up the Bubble Rising Star prize, giving it a free stand at the next Bubble London show, which will take place in July.

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