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Spring 06

A rising sun emblem saluted the twin approach that saw the new edition in Barcelona followed two weeks later by a similar, but smaller, gathering in Berlin.

TITLE BREAD & BUTTER EUROVISION tradeshows for selected brands

SLOGAN BREAD & BUTTER EUROVISION - SELECTED

DATES July 8-10, 2005, Barcelona; July 22-24, 2005, Berlin

EXHIBITORS 710 in Barcelona; 318 in Berlin

VISITORS 45,000 in Barcelona; 26,000 in Berlin

 

The arrangement was seen by many as confusing and perplexing. Virtually all British buyers packed their suntan lotion and headed for the beach in Catalonia, but there were real difficulties for brands that needed to be at both events. Some, like Ben Sherman, decided not to go to Barcelona as it did not sell in Spain and believed more business would be done in Germany.

Rumours abounded that B&B had been heavily subsidised by the local authorities to shift to Spain and certainly the organisers heaped praise on the co-operation Barcelona had given them. One line of thought said Karl-Heinz Müller and Co had become frustrated at the lack of support they had received in recent seasons from the Berlin civic authorities, which originally had assisted them greatly in establishing the event in the German capital.

Politics aside, the Spanish adventure was a massive success. The majestic old exhibition complex in the centre of the city was easy to get to and continued B&B’s remarkable knack of locating unusual venues. The various buildings allowed better segmentation of the many sectors that the show now embraced. The food and chill-out areas were much-admired and even the weather was kind - overcast rather than boiling hot.

The expected lively merry-making on Las Ramblas did not take off, largely because the horrific terrorist attacks on the London transport network on Thursday, July 7, the day before B&B opened, affected the collective British mood. Buyers were concerned already because trade continued to be slow in the UK, with many independents confirming they were reining in forward-order budgets. Indie turnout was lower than expected.

The trends were all too familiar. Spring 06 was to be a virtual re-run of spring 05.

“All the usual suspects were on show from military details and bubblegum colours to appliqué on jerseys and another dose of Americana,” said Drapers.

Despite the somewhat depressing backdrop for the UK contingent, there was no doubt the risky strategy of shifting B&B more than 900 miles to the west had paid off.

 

Karl-Heinz Müller offered us a stand for free at the first B&B in Cologne, but we declined as we didn’t think Duffer should be seen at shows. He finally managed to get us to show when B&B was in Barcelona. As we British might say, from little acorns mighty oaks
do grow.

Eddie Prendergast, founder of The Duffer of St George and owner of premium indie Present in London

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