Shanghai's textile, apparel trade shows report high turnout
China’s leading textile and apparel sourcing shows, which had to cancel the customary March editions and held an emergency session in Shenzhen in July, were finally able to stage a full session in Shanghai on September 23-25, attracting up to 73,500 visitors, in the case of Intertextile. A sign that economic recovery has started, according to the organisers of the various shows, whose dates for next year have been exceptionally brought forward to August.
Between fabrics and materials show Intertextile, fashion and apparel show Chic, yarn and fibres event Yarn Expo, and knitwear show PH Value, the Shanghai trade event season brought together a large number of Chinese industry professionals and, to a lesser degree, of those from outside China. In August, nearly a year after the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in China, the country notably posted the current year's first increase in export revenue, which grew by 0.8%.
Chic reported an attendance of 43,986 visitors for this edition, the first marked by signs of recovery, which hosted some 500 exhibitors. Given the latest restrictions to entry into China, almost all of them were local. The handful of foreign exhibitors and non-Chinese buyers who attended were mostly represented by their Chinese agents.
“The global apparel industry is exposed to a huge amount of tension and must face enormous challenges,” said Chen Dapeng, president of Chic and of the China National Garment Association.
He added that “the industry is undergoing a process of transformation and adjustment, whose key elements are digitalisation, innovation and a complete overhaul of product development practices. Sustainable development is the globally accepted gold standard. An eco-responsible, sustainable industrial eco-system and an ecologically structured supply chain have become important elements of the industry’s ‘soft power’. Chic encapsulates the Chinese apparel industry's development environment and considers itself a service provider to both the industry and retail trade, putting all its resources to their disposal.”
The organisers of Intertextile - Germany-based Messe Frankfurt, with CCPIT-Tex, the textile industry’s sub-council within China’s Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and the China Textile Information Center - were equally satisfied. The event reported a total attendance of 73,500 visitors, and hosted 3,400 exhibitors. Again, the majority of them hailed from China.
“We’re proud of the fact that, as a reputable, reliable platform, the show has once again been a useful tool for suppliers to present their latest collections,” said Wendy Wen, senior general manager of Messe Frankfurt Hong Kong.
“This was all the more true this year, since exhibitors took advantage of the show to present products designed in direct response to the pandemic, such as anti-bacterial fabrics and other functional materials. The industry's commercial side has also adapted to the pandemic, and exhibitors remarked on the rise in the number of buyers using e-commerce tools, who often require high-quality products and a prompt delivery service, reflecting the popularity of and increased demand for e-commerce,” said Wen.
As for Yarn Expo, which attracted 15,707 visitors and 419 exhibitors from Asia and the USA, Messe Frankfurt underlined how physical connections between yarn spinners, weavers and other specialists have given fresh impetus to order placement, allowing the supply chain “to make up some of the ground lost earlier in the year.”
Like the leading European trade shows, the Shanghai events too have extended their scope this autumn through the use of digital tools. Exhibitors and visitors of Intertextile and Yarn Expo were able to tap the events’ virtual solutions, offered through two separate tools: Hybrid Showcase, giving access to the product range of multiple manufacturers, and Connect Plus, a visual networking tool between the shows’ participants.
Chic increased the range of options available on the show’s eponymous app, including live streams of Chic’s various events and conferences, and access to several product catalogues and other documents.
Chic also deployed a new match-making solution, enabling distributors and buyers to easily identify the brands and manufacturers that offered the best fit for their searches. Among the users, major names like JD.com, Tmall, Amazon and the Wangujing department store chain. Chic’s organisers are planning to extend the scope of this tool in future editions.
The next session of the Shanghai textile and apparel shows is scheduled on March 10-12 2021. A second joint session is planned in Shenzhen on November 2-5 2021, in the wake of the first joint session staged exceptionally in July, which had to shoulder the heavy burden of compensating for the March shows that were cancelled.
Notably, neither Chic nor Intertextile will hold a September session in 2021. Shanghai's National Exhibition and Convention Center is not available on the usual dates, and the shows have announced their next autumn session will be held from Tuesday August 17 to Thursday August 19, again at the same gigantic exhibition centre, close to Shanghai Hongqiao airport.
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