With a new visitor record and participants’ strong affirmation of the fair’s increasing quality, the 2016 Autumn Edition of Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics completed another page of success last month. Increasing by 10% compared to last year, 73,927 buyers from over 90 countries and regions (2015: 66,257, 97 countries and regions) visited the fair to explore a wide range of sourcing options brought by 4,553 exhibitors from 29 countries and regions (2015: 4,642, 29 countries & regions). The top 10 visitor countries and regions excluding Mainland China were Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the US, India, Russia, the UK, Thailand and Indonesia.
Commenting at the conclusion of the fair, Ms Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd said: “For the last few years, even though Intertextile Shanghai has continued to grow in size, our priority has been to focus on the quality of exhibitors and buyers that participate here to ensure it remains the global industry’s leading business event every March and October. While we are aware that the current economic conditions are creating challenges in some sectors of the industry, we are confident that with the unrivalled range, internationality and quality of exhibitors here, this fair is increasingly viewed as the leading event where quality trade buyers come to conduct business, regardless of the prevailing economic conditions.”?
High-quality buyers and effective product zones boosted exhibitors’ results
High-quality trade buyers are increasingly attracted to the fair by its outstanding industry reputation, and in particular the distinctive product zones which facilitate more business to occur onsite. Many exhibitors in these zones reported high levels of satisfaction in their return on participation. Exhibiting in the Beyond Denim hall, Turkish company Kipas Mensucat Isletmeleri AS’s Sales Manager Mr Yucel Bayram commented: “This product hall matches exactly with our premium denim products, and all the companies around us are producing premium denim also; therefore all our target buyers are here. It’s efficient and effective for us to conduct business in this area.” Third Office from Japan was new to the fair and Beyond Denim, and its representative Mr John Xu said the company made the right investment by exhibiting. “I think it’s excellent for us to be here! The hall gathers our target buyers and helps us to generate business effectively. In the first two days, 16 potential buyers made sample orders with us,” he said. “To have the opportunity to connect with other top denim suppliers around the world is just as valuable for us. We shared ideas and even exchanged some useful business contacts.”
For the first time, the leading innovative and eco fabrics supplier Far Eastern New Century Corporation (FENC) from Taiwan took part in the Functional Lab, and was strongly satisfied with their achievements and the buyers’ quality. Its Senior Vice President of Polyester Industry Filament Division Mr Eric Huang commented: “The fair definitely drew the right type of buyers for us. We’re thankful for the Functional Lab as it provided an effective platform for us to show our latest products to the buyers who are really keen to source our products for active wear, sportswear and outdoor wear. We received a good number of genuine enquiries.”
Exhibitors in the Premium Wool Zone testified a similar sentiment, including first time exhibitor Harris Tweed from Scotland. “We’ve been very impressed with the exhibition. We found the right type of buyers here, which are mainly garment makers and people in the made-to-measure business,” said Mr Howard Pighills, Director of the company. Another new exhibitor Ichinomiya Fashion Design Center Foundation also benefited from this exclusive area, with Ms Mori Noriko commenting: “Not many trade fairs have a dedicated zone for premium wool, and this is very important for us because product zones like this helps to draw the right buyers with good quality.” She continued by praising the buyers’ quality, saying: “We don’t need to worry about the buyer quality at this fair. Visitors who came to our booth were knowledgeable, and the majority of them were genuine buyers that were sincere to obtain further business cooperation with us. Some name-brand buyers were sourcing here as well.”
In addition, exhibitors in other areas of the fair, including the country pavilions, were also delighted with their exhibit outcome. Well known French lace and embroidery supplier Solstiss Laces & Embroideries connected with a number of high-quality domestic buyers in the France Pavilion, with its Export Sales Manager Mr Marc Barbisan sharing: “Exhibiting in this fair is a good investment as we think the prospects in this market are very positive. Our customers are mainly the top brands from Shenzhen. This year, we met with good quality designers and manufactures here. The price for our lace and fabrics is not cheap, but we received some onsite orders for our luxury collection which is 200 – 300 Euro per metre.”
Domestic exhibitor ZiRan Non-Woven Co Ltd is a long term exhibitor, and its General Manager Mr Shanghai Shi highly values the fair as he sees it as the key event for his company to boost sales every year. Mr Shi explained: “This year, we met with a number of well-known fashion companies from both China and overseas, and most of them are very likely to develop into important business cooperation. Intertextile Shanghai is a high-quality marketplace that my company relies on very much. Despite the economic downturn these years, we have been able to continually break our sales records with the help of this fair.”
An ideal stage to explore new opportunities
To remain ahead in today’s fast-changing market, companies must develop new products and seek out new markets, and Intertextile Shanghai continues to be affirmed by exhibitors as the ideal stage to do just this. “We achieved our exhibit objectives, as we were able to meet new buyers, collect new business contacts as well as to launch new products to both first-time and existing customers effectively,” said Ms Carrie W.Y. Li, Marketing Assistant of Pantone. Mr Dequan Xu, Textile Project Manager of Beijing Ecocert Certification Centre added: “After we first joined this fair last October, our clients in the certification sector recorded a significant increase in 2016. If we want to promote our brand and new services successfully, we know Intertextile Shanghai is the best place.” Returning Japanese exhibitor Sunwell said the fair always offers new opportunities for them, with its Sales Manager Mr Hiroshi Kawabata stating: “Being here is important for us because we can communicate with customers from new countries and regions. This is a wonderful place to be! We always have a valuable experience and gain something new out of the fair.”
Domestic exhibitors also affirmed the fair’s effectiveness in meeting new customers and launching new products. “80% of the products we showcased here are new collections, and Intertextile Shanghai is an excellent source for finding new buyers. Half of the buyers we met are new, and they are all in good quality,” said Mr Ju Fu, representative of Shanghai Moririn Textile Co Ltd. Kunshan Huayang New Material Co Ltd agreed, with its Vice President Mr Cheng Shou Zhang saying: “I think around 30% of the new buyers we met here will turn into real business, which is an outstanding result for us.” Mr Zhang was also very impressed with the quantity of buyers the company received, as he shared: “We had loads of people visiting our booth every day. I could hardly find a seat even though we have more than 30 chairs here!”
Global industry sources at Intertextile Shanghai
With visitors coming from 90 countries and regions, exhibitors were able to develop new business both in China and overseas. Ms Noriko from Ichinomiya Fashion Design Center Foundation revealed: “China is our target market, but, in this fair, we actually got to meet with a number of premium luxury brands that are not only from China but also overseas. It’s beyond our expectation and we are very pleased about that.” Mr Pierluigi Berardi, Global Marketing Director of Nilit Ltd from Israel, added: “It’s our third time at this fair, and we can always establish new businesses here, not only with Chinese mills but with companies from Europe and North America too.” FENC recorded growth in international buyers, with Mr Huang saying: “We think the number of buyers coming from Southern Asia, Eastern Europe as well as China has increased. We are thrilled that we could present our products and share our innovative ideas to buyers from around the world. This is our mission as an international brand.”
Solstudio Textile Design from Russia presents their designs in many trade shows, and its Head of Design Department Ms Ksenia Ezhova compared their experience in Intertextile and others. She stated: “We are able to make more contacts with Asian buyers here compared to other similar fairs, and our designs are very popular in this market. Our top priorities of exhibiting here are to develop relationships with clients, meet new buyers, learn the trends in the market in this region, and this fair is a very good place for these.”
Buyers impressed by the quality and variety of products on offer
Given the fair’s large scale and strong internationalism, buyers were able to access from the full spectrum of high-quality apparel fabrics and accessories products from around the world. “This fair is good in quality with a large size and a variety of suppliers. I came here with my team and gathered some useful business contacts which we will further develop,” said Mr Pep Sensads, General Manager of Clothing Solutions from Spain. Mr Shamsudeen, Sales Manager of Khalid Al Thagafi Trading Est from Saudi Arabia agreed: “There is a wide range of suppliers here which met my expectations. The quality of the products on offer is good too. I would say this is one of the most useful sourcing platforms as suppliers of different countries and product categories can be found here.”
Other buyers were impressed by the fair’s product zones. “It’s absolutely useful having the different product zones and pavilions. Every booth I go to, there’s a very important potential partner we could work with for years to come,” said Mr Harrie Schoots, Business Development Manager – Nylon of ASCEND Performance Materials from the US. “There are a lot of trade shows you can go to, but this is a place that has every segment of business,” he concluded. The product zones also helped Ms Leigh Gallagher, Trend Forecaster of Super.com.au from Australia, as she was searching for new fabric trends and prints. She stated: “I am impressed with the Verve for Design area as it’s good to meet everyone in this sector under one roof. I think Intertextile Shanghai is a good platform for new ideas and innovations.”
Dynamic fringe programme praised by industry leaders as highly value adding
Besides the abundant business opportunities on offer, fair participants also highly valued the dynamic fringe programme, including Beijing Ecocert Certification Centre which hosted a seminar session. Mr Xu said: “The fair’s seminar programme offered an additional chance for us to promote our brand. There were so many visitors attending the seminar, including some key companies in the industry. Many of them visited our booth for further enquiries after our seminar.” Pantone had the same feedback. “Besides our booth, we also led a seminar and participated in the Trend Forum. These two events increased buyers’ interest in our products, so these events were very important for us,” said Ms Li.
This year, a number of industry leaders took part in various panel discussions and received very positive feedback. Mr Scott R. Miller, Director of Business Development of Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) moderated a panel discussion on the topic of Holistic Sustainability Performance Measurement. He shared his view on the fair’s fringe programme: “Intertextile Shanghai is an influential trade event. By organising this discussion here, we could reach quite a lot companies including fabric producers, material innovators, big garment companies as well as retailers and end-users. The audience feedback was positive and they really cared about the topic. To speak at the Intertextile show can make our voice louder.”
Moderator of INVISTA’s panel Ms R. Jane Singer, Managing Director of INSIDE FASHION, believes it’s essential for the industry to take advantage of the fringe programme. She explained: “Intertextile Shanghai is really the place to be as it provides very important opportunities to not only see products, but also be able to understand how that product is being used in the marketplace.”
In addition, the fringe programme enhanced the effectiveness and the quality of buyers’ sourcing trips. Australian buyer Ms Nadia Jones, Creative Director of MARCS, said: “The Trend Forum is an excellent area that offers an overview of what’s going on for the next season’s trends. It’s very helpful that I could look at the swatches and go directly to the exhibitor who supplies them.” Ms Zhang Yun, Chief Manager of Sichuan Jin Peng Xiang Yun Garment Co Ltd, attended the sportswear panel discussion led by WSA magazine and found more clear direction for her sourcing trip. Ms Yun said: “This panel discussion brought us many innovative ideas and vital market information, which we had never known before. It’s worthwhile to have the chance to brainstorm with the top industry leaders as well. More importantly, my sourcing trip is going to be more efficient as I have better sourcing direction now.”
Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Autumn Edition 2016 was co-organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd; the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; and the China Textile Information Centre. The next Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics will be the Spring Edition from 15 – 17 March 2017.