UK buyers at CPD were optimistic about the year ahead, despite the need for some to cut next season's budgets to avoid a repeat of this winter's surplus stock.
Sam Cuthbertson, owner and buyer at Chanticleer in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, said she and other retailers at the mainstream womenswear show were going into spring with a positive but cautious outlook. "It was an upbeat trip. However, we all need to prune our buying - work harder and buy less."
Margaret O'Neill, owner of Rich Rags in Tipperary, Republic of Ireland, was bullish about trade this year and said the show had highlighted essential key looks.
Visitors to CPD - which also includes menswear show HMD, underwear event Body Look, plus-size event Supersize and sourcing show Global Fashion - were up 5% on last January to 45,000. International visitors made up 34% of the total, with the number of buyers from Eastern Europe doubling.
However, exhibitors said UK and RoI visitor numbers were low, no doubt hit by the date clash with Pret a Porter in Paris and Futura Fair in Dublin. Frank Hartmann, the managing director of show organiser Igedo, said next year's events would avoid clashes.
Christian Lawaczeck, UK managing director of Basler, said cautious optimism was the theme for UK buyers. "They are ready to leave last year behind," he said.
One UK agent said 2007 could only get better. "Winter has been a disaster for everyone. People are now more positive."
- See page 43 for a full trend report from Dusseldorf.