ISPO keeps a high profile
ISPO enjoyed a full house once again, despite the spring feeling at the ski resorts. The sporting goods and apparel trade show, held from 24th to 27th January, attracted more than 80,000 visitors. One of the reasons is undoubtedly that, unlike ready-to-wear apparel buyers, sporting goods buyers have at their disposal only one international event in Europe.
"It's a key moment in the season. The show allows visitors to survey the market's global evolution, and offers an international outlook and a perspective on what works elsewhere. You can see suppliers, complete collections, major accounts, etc.," commented Maryline Castilla of Sport Pulsion, a distributor for several brands in France, among them Lowa, Osprey and Maloja.
"As for us, we stopped going to ASAP in Annecy, France, and to Sport Achat, to rely entirely on ISPO. Having said this, we have been touring since December. But in Munich, the French were present in greater numbers than in the past," said Pierre-Jean Touchard, in charge of France for Salewa. "We started off with ASAP. And yet, many French professionals also came to ISPO, despite a highly complicated winter. Multi-seasonal products are performing. Our fibre, merino wool, is versatile," said Sandrine Blanc of Icebreaker. Her opinion was shared by many exhibitors, who pointed out the efforts made to encourage buyers to come to the Bavarian capital.
Messe München, the show's organiser, reported that 87% of visitors came from abroad. The number of buyers from Italy, Switzerland, Austria and also from Russia and the Ukraine has risen. The show’s dates have also played a role, notably for textiles, since this year ISPO was exceptionally held from 24th to 27th January, as opposed to 5th to 8th February, as in 2015. Globally, the event's 2,645 exhibitors showcased a range that appealed to visitors, although product innovation was rare, according to some regulars. Major novelties were more of the commercial type, designed to support retailers throughout the year, reducing their dependence on winter, which is sometimes too mild for the industry.
In 2017, ISPO will again be scheduled in February, from 5th to 8th. "These dates for 2017 are acceptable. The important thing is to start on a Sunday," concluded Pierre-Jean Touchard.
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