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Visitor numbers fall at Pitti Bimbo

Visitor numbers dropped at kidswear show Pitti Bimbo as international buyers slashed travel budgets.

A total of 6,900 buyers attended the show, which ran from June 25-27 in Florence, compared with 7,647 last June and 8,100 in 2007.

International buyer numbers also fell in contrast to last year’s trend, when domestic buyer numbers dropped and international buyers remained flat. Organisers reported that 109 UK buyers attended, compared with 134 in July 2008.

However, many big-name department stores made the journey to see the spring 10 collections, with buyers from the likes of Barneys in New York, Galeries Lafayette in Paris and the Dubai branch of Saks Fifth Avenue in attendance. UK department stores were also out in force.

Debbie Smales, department store sales manager at kidswear group Children Worldwide Fashion, which launched its Boss Kids range at the show, said: “All the big UK and Irish stores were here. I’ve seen Harrods, Selfridges, Brown Thomas and Fenwicks. A lot of the indies we usually see were missing, although the larger ones such as Kids Cavern (in Liverpool) were here.”
Shabana Shah, childrenswear sales manager UK and Ireland at the Gant brand, said: “I spoke to a lot of buyers who said they were skipping this season to cut costs.”

Annalise Quest, general merchandise manager for Harrods, said: “This was a very good edition of Pitti Bimbo. It did seem a bit quieter, but we found several new brands for our department store.”

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