Milano Unica: decline in visitors and exhibitors
The 20th edition of Milano Unica ended on Friday, February 6 in Milan with mixed results due to weakened demand continuing to plague the domestic market, poor timing and unfavorable weather conditions. The major Italian trade show recorded a 5% decline in visitors, with only 18,000 as compared with 19,000 during the February 2014 edition.
The number of exhibitors was also down. The Milanese event, dedicated to fabrics and accessories collections for the spring-summer 2016 season, welcomed 353 exhibitors (including 64 from other European countries) as compared with 398 one year earlier. Added to this were the 34 Japanese weavers gathered in the "Observatory of Japan" space.
Foreign visitors, meanwhile, increased by 2.5% according to organizers’ final report, which also noted significant increases in visitors from France (12%) and the UK (9%), while the number of Germans was down by 12% and those from Spain by 6%.
In terms of non-European countries with big increases in buyers: the United States (+ 10%), China (13%), Turkey (4%) and Japan (13%), while the number of visitors from Russia dropped by 29%, similar to numbers at Pitti Uomo in January, due to the ongoing financial crisis in the country.
Italian attendance also fell (-9%) due to "adverse weather conditions that hampered travel from central Italy to Milan," according to organizers. Heavy snowfall blocked road and rail traffic, especially in Bologna. Added to this was the overlap in February between the last day of the trade show Munich Fabric Start with the first day of Milano Unica.
Despite the mixed results, the president of Milano Unica, Silvio Albini, described the event as "extraordinary", both in terms of the number of visitors - "in line with our expectations," - as well as from an economic perspective. "We have finally been able to announce positive results in turnover, export and trade balance for the Italian textile sector, even though the international economic scenario is still uncertain," said Albini.
Albini particularly welcomed the support of the government, which will invest six million euros to promote Milano Unica around the world. The textile event should also be launching an edition in New York in July.
Milano Unica’s upcoming events are scheduled for March 19-20 in Shanghai for its Chinese edition, and again in Milan from September 8-10, 2015 to present fall-winter 2016/17 fabric collections.
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