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Venue change and more exhibitors lift Bubble London

The mood at kidswear show Bubble London was optimistic despite falling buyer budgets for spring 10, thanks to the event’s growth and new north London venue.

Now in its fourth season in the UK, Bubble London, which ran from June 21-22, relocated from Olympia in Earls Court, south-west London, to Islington’s Business Design Centre and saw exhibitor numbers grow from 130 last season to 150.

Ric Ramswell, director of kidswear brand No Added Sugar, said: “The show has been amazing for us. We’ve signed up lots of new accounts and seen buyers from Belgium, Greece and the Netherlands. January’s Bubble was the busiest show we’ve ever done anywhere, but the winter season is always better for us.”

First-time exhibitor Lily & Sid said it had signed up 20 new stockists at the show.

Bubble London said attendance rose 15% on last season. However, other exhibitors said the dateline’s closeness to kidswear show Pitti Bimbo, which opened in Florence on June 25, may have impacted overall attendance.

John Scott, UK agent for Religion kidswear, said: “Footfall’s been disappointing but the quality of buyers has been good. I think the fair suffered because some buyers were already in Florence for Pitti Bimbo.”

Many of the brands on show had expanded their age ranges to reach a larger market. Surfwear brand O’Neill, which had not shown at Bubble London before, came this season to launch its toddler range to the UK market.

But the broader ranges did not go far enough for some buyers. First-time visitor Jacqueline Holt, who is soon to open a kidswear boutique called Eden in Eastbourne, East Sussex, said: “I was impressed with the range of brands. The only downside is there’s not much for older children.”

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