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Export wholesale: What can we expect from tradeshows and showrooms in 2022?


UKFT visited the tradeshows and showrooms around Paris Fashion Week in October 2021 to see what export wholesale is likely to look like next year.

Paris Fashion Week

UKFT’s International Business Director Paul Alger MBE said: “As the UK emerges (hopefully) from Covid, the UK’s fashion and textile SMEs are very different from the way they were before. Some have closed down or changed their business model. Most are very cautious with their investments. Most are concerned about the challenges of Brexit and the damage it can do to their export business. Many will only consider returning to trade shows and showrooms if there is evidence that the major non-EU buyers from the US, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Japan, South Korea, China and the Middle East are travelling again. The lack of Tradeshow Access Programme grants is an additional pressure here.

“For all these reasons, Paris Fashion Week gives us some answers to what tradeshows and export wholesale are likely to look like next year,” he said.

In October 2021, the main Paris Fashion Week catwalks and tradeshows took place in physical format for the second time since Covid-19.

Before the pandemic, the UK presence at the key shows and multibrand showrooms varied between 200 and 300 brands each season, although since the Brexit referendum in 2016 UK exhibitor numbers had fallen to closer to 200 each season in March and September.

UKFT visited the key tradeshows including Première Classe Tuileries, Tranoi and ManWoman (within Première Classe), as well as showrooms including AQ Market, Tuileries Showroom, Studio Zeta and Riccardo Grassi to establish:

  • How the main tradeshows and showrooms have changed in the aftermath of Covid-19
  • Attitudes around Brexit and UK brands
  • The key business trends in evidence at Paris Fashion Week
  • Which UK exhibitors were present at the various tradeshows and showrooms
  • How busy the events were and what safety precautions were in place
  • The impact of Brexit on moving samples and the requirement for ATA Carnets
  • If there is wholesale business to be done for UK brands at international trade shows
  • Which buyers/countries are travelling, where they are going and what can we can expect next year
  • If UK exporters missing the opportunity to connect with international buyers and, if so, what are the reasons for this?

There is a full report available to UKFT members from the event. Contact faye.williams@ukft.org to receive a copy.

Not a member? Find out more about membership at www.ukft.org/membership