With buying season well and truly underway, it’s been so uplifting to see so many buyers remaining positive about the months ahead. Despite the challenging economic climate, train strikes and cold snaps, retailers have returned to trade shows in full force this season. So much so that event organisers have reported a notable increase in visitor numbers, sell-out stand space and bigger orders compared to this time last year.
Some major trade shows have shared fresh plans to improve their formats and aid buyers in these uncertain times. Just Around the Corner made its successful debut at larger venue Manchester Central recently (read more on page 15) and announced it will roll out new sectors already trialled at its London edition next season. Meanwhile, Harrogate Fashion Week organisers plan to extend the show’s duration to a three-day event for SS24 as it grows in popularity among buyers and exhibitors (full story on pages 16-18). Finally, there was big news at Hyve’s Spring Fair and Moda as new plans to modernise the show were revealed to press (we’ll share more as soon as we can).
Back to this edition and there’s an accidental family theme running throughout as we spotlight those working with their spouses, siblings and parents. First, we highlight some of our favourite family-owned fashion and lifestyle suppliers over on pages 30-31. We also interview Polly McLachlan, one half of the infectiously fun sister duo behind Devon indie Crane and Kind, on pages 63-66. Plus, there’s a Q&A with the all-sister founding trio of Bristol’s Grace and Mable on page 68.
Lastly, like the rest of the country, we’ve been thinking about ways to save money this month. We know lots of small businesses are struggling with escalating expenses, so we’ve collated some top expert tips on minimising retail costs on pages 59-61. Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre also shares some wisdom on growing during a recession in his monthly column on page 70.
We hope you find inspiration on our pages to continue the positivity into spring.
Gemma Ward, Editor
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