UK trade shows including Jacket Required, Pure, Moda and Scoop have stepped up security measures for the upcoming spring 18 season following the recent terror attacks in London and Manchester.
Extra procedures being implemented at the exhibitions involve increases in security personnel and random bag checks.
The move comes as the buying team at US department store Bergdorf Goodman opted not to visit London this summer for spring 18 buying appointments, as revealed by Drapers last week. Business will continue through virtual meetings.
The decision has resonated with Alison Kilgour, owner of Scottish independents Country Pursuits and Capture Boutique both in Stirling, who said she intended to also do her buying appointments remotely. “I know that instilling fear is what they want, but I’m not doing Pure, Moda or Scoop as I am worried. I can do it all remotely and just can’t see the value in taking the chance.”
However the majority of UK-based boutiques Drapers has spoken to said they will continue to visit tradeshows and showrooms in London and the rest of the UK as planned.
“We don’t have any hesitation to travel at the moment,” said Sarah Murray, owner of Edinburgh boutique Jane Davidson, who attends London Fashion Week and Scoop.
“I think businesses will massively miss out from not coming to London and seeing the creativity it brings. It’s important to be out there and getting on with things.”
Yvette Davies, owner at womenswear independent Thirty Three Boutique in Lymington, who visits both Pure and Scoop, agrees: “You have to carry on. [Attacks] could happen anywhere but you have to get on with your everyday life. I always go to Who’s Next in Paris and the Paris attacks didn’t stop me, so I’ll be going to the shows as normal this season.”
Amy Hall, co-owner at Otford-based womenswear boutique Hall & Co, in Kent, said she will also attend Scoop and Pure London as usual. “The terror situation has put people off city centres, but we’re not concerned about the current safety level. It won’t stop us from going to trade fairs. We’ll be carrying on as normal.”
Claire Mclennan, co-owner at Monmouth womenswear independent The Square, who visits Pure said: “We’re definitely going. You’ve got to, otherwise you’d end up scared of everything and you wouldn’t have a business. Of course it’s a massive shock when this country is attacked, but I feel safe knowing that security will be there.”
Trade shows in London and Birmingham have been reviewing security arrangements with their venues ahead of the shows this summer.
Nick Cook, industry director at Moda-organiser ITE Moda, said: “While there are additional measures in place during all events at the NEC at the moment they won’t be of a type which will impact on the experience for our visitors or exhibitors.
“Visitors will already be familiar with security measures such as bag checks, which are already in operation at Moda, and there will be additional staff on hand to make sure entry to the event remains as smooth and easy as always.”
Similarly bag checks will be introduced at London menswear show Jacket Required. A spokeswoman said: “We work with an experienced security company at Jacket Required and are reviewing our security with this team and with the venue. Additional staff and safety measures, including bag checks, will be put in place to ensure additional levels of vigilance at this season’s exhibition, whilst remaining sensitive to the visitor and exhibitor experience.”
Julie Driscoll, portfolio director at Pure London said the safety of attendees is an “absolute priority”: ”Like everyone, we very saddened by the recent tragic events in Westminster, Manchester and most recently at London Bridge. We continue to work very closely throughout the year with our venue hosts, the police and specialist advisers to ensure that the most appropriate protective security arrangements are in place. Our plans are continuously reviewed and updated if necessary.”
AIS’s Indx trade shows, which are based in Solihull, will also involve random bag checks and roaming security throughout the show.
“Following the recent attacks in London and Manchester it is only right that we have taken the time to review those existing plans to make sure that we are doing all we can to create a safe and secure environment for our visitors and employees,” said a spokeswoman.
“Safety is paramount and we have considered our internal procedures, level of resources and emergency plans, and have made changes as appropriate. We have followed the guidance issued by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and will continue to monitor and review the security arrangements at AIS.”
Karen Radley, event director of Scoop said: “All Scoop visitors are already met by our security team before walking down to the gallery, but there will be extra vigilance this season including simple bag checks, which will be carried out before buyers enter the show itself.”