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Double-digit increases in visitors and exhibitors at Intertextile Shanghai Apparel

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Domestic demand remains strong despite slower economy

Buyers came away satisfied with new venue and huge range of products

New records for both visitors and exhibitors were set at last month’s Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Spring Edition as the new location and concurrent fairs saw more than 22,000 extra buyers attend compared to 2014. In total 62,649 trade buyers from 88 countries and regions attended, a 56% increase on last year’s figure of 40,214. This number included buyers from the concurrent Yarn Expo Spring, CHIC and PH Value events who also attended Intertextile Shanghai, which created further opportunities for the 2,636 exhibitors (2014: 1,469) from 24 countries and regions who featured in the 100,600 sqm of exhibition space – more than double last year’s size.

Exhibitor sentiment, on a high after the large increase in buyers over the three days of the fair, “Our target is to meet medium to high level Chinese garment makers, and we are getting many enquiries from them at this fair,” explained Ms Marie-Helene Riviere, Sales Manager at France’s Malfroy Million. “We used to participate in another fair in China, but we realised that this is the best place to be as it helps to draw more visitors to see our products.” Ms Itsuko Kimura from Sojitz Fashion, Japan, agreed. “We have already met with 600 visitors during the first two days and most of them were our target customers, so we are satisfied with the show this year.” French exhibitor Solstiss Laces & Embroideries also believed Intertextile Shanghai was the best platform in the region. “Everybody is coming here to see the products, so it’s the best fair in Asia. In addition to Chinese customers, we’ve also seen some from Europe and the Middle East,” explained Mr Marc Barbisan.

Internationality and quality of buyers impresses exhibitors

While the organiser’s decision to relocate the fair closer to the domestic textile manufacturing hubs certainly attracted more quality domestic buyers, exhibitors were also happy with the international nature of the fair. Mr Menno Meijer, Sales Manager from Dutch exhibitor Northern Linen explained: “The big brands and global buyers are all walking around here, and that’s the reason we’re here. Plus, the three concurrent events help bring more buyers too so it’s good for everyone here.”

British firm Intertek exhibit at many fairs in China, but Intertek Testing Services Ltd Shanghai’s Marketing Executive Ms Luna Zhu believes Intertextile Shanghai is the best due to the scale and buyer variety. “We are getting enquiries from domestic suppliers, and many overseas buyers have also appointed us to be their inspection service provider,” she said.

Domestic demand remains strong despite slower economy

Much talk before the fair was centred on the slowing Chinese economy and how that would affect business in the textile industry, but many exhibitors, including Korea’s R&D Textile Co Ltd, were optimistic about the future. “The demand here in China is always increasing,” Sales Manager Ms Jeunghee Bae explained. “It’s not like it was two or three years ago, but it’s still strong and will continue in the future.”

This sentiment was shared particularly by those in the mid-range and high-end of the market. “We are not so affected by the slowing economy because consumers here still think quality is more important,” Mr Akira Kawashima from Japan Pavilion organiser Japan Fashion Week Organisation explained. “We’ve had more buyers visit the pavilion than the autumn fair last year,” he continued. Leading Chinese brand Huafu had similar feedback. “We were very busy during the first two days. Our business is doing well despite the economy because our products are good for mid-range casual wear and sportswear,” Ms Lynn Chen said.

Country and product zones targeting domestic demand aid exhibitors

The fair’s increasing focus on specialised country and product zones that match local demand was also highly beneficial for exhibitors. The 105 Italian exhibitors in the seventh Milano Unica Pavilion to feature at Intertextile Shanghai were just some of those to benefit from the continuing demand for premium products from Chinese buyers, which has resulted in the partnership with Messe Frankfurt being extended for a further two years. Ms Wen commented: “We are pleased that our cooperation with Milano Unica will continue, and feel it is further proof that this fair is seen as the best platform to access the high-end apparel fabrics and accessories industry in Asia. The extension of this agreement shows our commitment to attract more premium suppliers from around the world to the fair.”

Other SalonEurope participants also saw the benefits of the zone. “It is good being in SalonEurope as it means many more premium customers are attracted to come here,” commented Mr Kason Truong from high-end British supplier Holland & Sherry. Fellow British firm Taylor & Lodge concurred. “The Premium Wool Zone is the only place for us to be as it helps attract our target buyers, while the other big brands in the zone also attract more traffic to the area,” Mr William Halstead outlined.

“We’re very happy in the Portugal Pavilion,” commented Mr Flavio Dias from Troficolor Texteis SA. “It’s a must for us as buyers like to identify with a group of exhibitors, so all together we benefit. It’s been really busy in our booth all the time so the venue has been good in attracting more buyers.” The All About Sustainability zone also had a constant stream of visitors. “This zone is really a great opportunity to introduce our services to the fashion industry; it’s an effective platform to showcase what we offer,” Mr Christian Dreszig from bluesign technologies ag said.

Concurrent fairs add value for both buyers and exhibitors

With the addition of the CHIC fair with the Spring Edition for the first time, as well as the return of PH Value and Yarn Expo Spring, buyers and exhibitors praised the increased business opportunities on offer. Ms Christina Kreuzwieser from Lenzing explained: “I think the combination of the two shows has attracted more quality customers here.” China’s Everest Textile (Shanghai) Ltd also found the concurrent fairs beneficial. “Holding the three shows concurrently has brought more visitors too our booth, plus we can source yarn and additives from upstream companies at the same time. We have gained a lot of orders in the first two days, from both existing and new customers,” Mr Mark Huang said. And looking to the future, Mr Raphael Sommer from Swiss firm Hausanmmann+Moos AG said: “I think having three concurrent shows may help us to draw more customers to our booth in the future because there are more potential customers around.”

Chinese exhibitors praise fair’s effectiveness to access local market

Even with a large variety of Chinese exhibitors at the fair, it was still widely praised as the best platform in the region. “Compared to other fairs in China, Intertextile attracts a wider variety of buyers, products and ideas from around the world, allowing our company to access a bigger market,” Ms Zhang Hongmei from Shandong Ruyi Cotton continued. “Moreover, the quality of buyers has greatly improved throughout the years as well.” Ms Judy Chu from Ningbo Datong Textile had this to say about buyers: “They seem more purposeful than before, and aren’t worried about price as long as the product quality is good. We can use this fair to not only maintain relationships with former clients, but also to attract new distributors.”

Ms Weiqing Zhang, Director of R&D at Jiangsu Golden Morning Knitting was pleased the new venue had attracted a lot more buyers. “We met so many buyers this time and set a new record for our company at Intertextile. In the first two days alone we had more buyers than all of the four days at last year’s Autumn Edition,” she explained. “Many of the visitors came to find samples, while some have already placed orders. This is a high-profile and very professional fair with many different types of buyers, so it’s a good platform to expand into the Chinese and Asian markets.”

Buyers came away satisfied with new venue and huge range of products

The new venue, significant increase in exhibitors and three concurrent fairs this year attracted a wide range of buyers, with many of them expressing their satisfaction with all these aspects. Mr Chase Aaronson from Winds Enterprises explained: “The venue is great, it’s very easy to get around to see everything, and there are an endless amount of vendors to see here. All the new trends and technologies are here too and this is the best place to see them.” Spanish buyer Mr Juan Carlos Tercero Vera also appreciated the new venue: “This venue is huge and it is a great platform for me to do sourcing as I can meet suppliers from both Europe and Asia.”

Despite the size, buyers liked the ease of finding what they needed. “The fair is well organised because it is clearly divided into different country zones and product categories, plus it offers a big variety of products for me to choose from,” said Mr Thomas Royet from Chinese firm Xing Dai Toys. Indonesian buyer Mr Bhupinder Badam from SDJ Overseas has been to Intertextile since its inception and commented: “The way the fair is organised now is more precise and grouped accurately according to category.”

Other buyers appreciated the huge range on offer. “Products are in good variety, good quality and good selection. It’s a great idea having the four shows together covering the entire textile chain, as nowadays time is so important,” Mr Mark Farid of Nature USA said. “The show is also useful for discovering trends and new products.” From France, Promod’s Mr Cyril Crozier said: “The fair includes a wide range of products, and I’ve already found six new suppliers on the first morning. Having the four fairs together is definitely beneficial.”

Exhibitors and buyers benefit from fair’s fringe programme

Buyers and exhibitors alike benefited from the huge array of trends on offer in the fair’s fringe programme. The Japan Pavilion’s trend area helped attract more buyers to the pavilion, Mr Kawashima from Japan Fashion Week Organisation explained. “We are not just seeing Chinese buyers here but also many from overseas because they are interested in our trend areas,” he said. Buyers were also impressed with what was on offer. “I can find lots of inspirations here at the fair such as new trends, fabrics patterns, materials, technologies and raw materials,” outlined Ms Elena Kollarova from Architect@Work China.

The four Trend Forums and 36 seminars at the fair were also well received. “I was very attracted by the Intertextile Directions Trend Forum as it contains the latest and most popular fabrics of suppliers from all over the world,” Chinese buyer Mr Wang Sheng Ming from Hangzhou BOYUAN Costume said. Ms Cristy Zhang, from the Shanghai office of Finnish firm Reima Oy, explained: “One of the main reasons I visited the fair was to participate in the different seminars here,” she said. “The bluesign seminar on product stewardship and chemicals management provided a new perspective of the sustainability issue, so it was good to know the latest standards.” Ms Rebecca Ying from American company California Textile Group attended one of the new Korean Wave in Fashion seminars. “The seminar was useful to me, as understanding the fashion trends in Korea might also give me insight into the Chinese fabrics and clothing markets,” she said.

Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Autumn Edition will take place from Tuesday, 13 to Thursday, 15 October 2015.

Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Spring Edition 2015 was co-organised by  the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT;the China Textile Information Centre;and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd.

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