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The Future of Trade Shows in a Post-COVID-19 Fashion Industry

trade shows

The Future of Trade Shows in a Post-COVID-19 Fashion Industry

The fashion sector woke up recently to yet another trade show cancellation – the newly launched footwear show Sole, due to take place in August after its February success, announced that the decision had been taken to cancel for now, with 2021 dates to be announced soon. And today, Hyve Fashion has announced that their upcoming events Pure, Pure Origin, Scoop and Jacket Required will also be cancelled until next year. They’re just another in a long line of cancelled shows this Summer, including Premium Berlin, Modefabriek, Tranoï and Scoop International to name but a few.

There are some, perhaps more optimistic platforms, which have simply postponed their dates to later in the year, but there is a real sense in the industry that things might not go back to the way they were before. There is a universal feeling of uncertainty – lockdown restrictions are being eased, but with mixed messages from governments throughout the world, the idea of visiting exhibition centres packed with thousands of people from all corners of the globe is less than appealing for many.

TradeGala works with thousands of small boutique owners and, of those that we surveyed, 66% responded that they had no plans to attend a trade show for the rest of 2020. But if the very foundation of the industry is under threat, what will fashion buying and selling look like in a post-COVID-19 world?

In the short term, some of the major players are experimenting with technology and virtual reality to continue reaching their target audience. Shanghai Fashion Week was first to take the step into the unknown, holding their first fully digital event in April, while London’s famous Fashion Week followed suit with a virtual showcase in June.

Experimentation was the order of the day, with everything from live-streamed, green-screen catwalk shows to 3D virtual reality design galleries. Despite some detractors who found the new format somewhat lacking, and a few technological glitches throughout, both events were considered a success, and Paris is planning to host their first virtual events in July. Independent trade shows are also dipping into the digital world with Modefabriek launching an online B2B marketplace in July to showcase the collections from their cancelled event, while collaborations are emerging with Coterie, Magic and Project to launch “digital tradeshows” in August and September.

But won’t things all just go back to normal eventually? If we’re honest, do we really want to go back to the way things were before? Perhaps it’s about time we embrace the ways that technology can enhance our analogue experience. Why should brands and buyers be obliged to travel internationally (investing stretched budgets and increasing the fashion industry’s already heavy burden on our carbon footprint) when we have the option to reach out and connect via the web? London Fashion Week is already planning their next event in September as a virtual/real-life hybrid (lockdown restrictions permitting) and looks to continue this trend indefinitely – perhaps this is the future of trade shows as we know them?

At the end of the day, we’re tactile creatures, and there’s nothing quite like being able to see and feel a satin dress or leather handbag when considering our next season’s stock. But as bulk forward-ordering is no longer the only option (and a risk many buyers no longer wish to take), retailers will still have the option to attend one or two shows a year to source new brands or trends while supplementing their stock more regularly with suppliers online. This is where TradeGala can make a difference.

A year-round “virtual tradeshow,” TradeGala showcases brands throughout the world offering short-order stock for instant purchase. A user-friendly platform, it allows buyers to respond quickly to the changing trends and offer their customers what they really want to buy, rather than speculating months in advance.

One day soon, we hope, we will be able to attend our favorite trade shows as we did before – sourcing, networking, finding inspiration. Our Trade Show Calendar is regularly updated with upcoming shows throughout the world (both virtual and physical) and you can subscribe for the latest updates, so you won’t miss a date! But the future has come more quickly than we expected – is your fashion business ready to embrace the digital revolution?

boohoo

The Boohoo’s Trade Ascendency – What Can we Learn?

The Coronavirus crisis has taken it’s fair share of victims in the world of retail, tolling the death knell for a whole slew of companies including Debenhams, Long Tall Sally, Cath Kidson, Warehouse and Oasis. And yet, recent news tells us all is not lost – Boohoo has stepped in and bought the online businesses of both Warehouse and Oasis for a bargain £5.25m. It’s no surprise that e-commerce based retailers have been less hard-hit than their high-street counterparts, but even so, the majority of e-tailers have reported losses during the crisis. Not so Boohoo. Despite a slight downturn when the crisis hit, sales shot back up in May and they closed the first quarter with a 45% sales increase on the previous year. So what is it that makes Boohoo so special?

Their secret it seems is in their provisioning – the “Test and Repeat” model. Rather than making major forward orders and holding large amounts of stock in their warehouse, they instead purchase small product runs, test them on the site, and then restock quickly the products that work well, discarding those that don’t. This has been vital during the COVID-19 crisis as it allowed Boohoo to switch their product range from party and club styles to loungewear and athleisure within a matter of days, adapting to their audience’s requirements without missing a beat. As the retail sector faces an uncertain future it’s worth considering whether this business model may be the solution for retailers everywhere, whatever their size.

The difficulty is sourcing products quickly enough to make it work. There’s no point in having a successful test-run of a certain product if, when the first batch sells out, your restock order from suppliers in China or India can take up to 2 months to arrive – by this point the bird will have well and truly flown. Boohoo combats this by stocking mainly UK based suppliers, and with imports affected by travel restrictions and breaks in the supply chain, sourcing products locally is, without doubt, the obvious solution (particularly with Brexit on the horizon). Some retailers may balk at the higher prices, but with lower risks and less deadstock, the benefits do seem to outweigh the increased costs.

The Coronavirus crisis has forced an entire industry to stop and think, literally. How can we change the way we work to face the challenges that have taken us all by surprise? Short-order provisioning may be a way for businesses to adapt to this new situation and respond to the rapid changes in consumer demand that are sure to continue over the coming months, however, this is likely to be a step outside of the comfort zone for many retailers who are used to ordering for season months in advance.

The good news is that there are simple options to help with the switch to the “Test and Repeat” model. TradeGala offers ready-to-ship stock from over 50 independent fashion brands covering womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, accessories, gifts and shoes. It’s simple to register and you can go from initial order to receipt of goods in just a few days. Whether or not the recent changes signal the future of the fashion retail industry, as with any business, adaptation is survival. Is your retail business ready for the “new normal”?

retailers

Fashion Retailers & Brands will need to Adapt As the Industry Emerges from the Pandemic 

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the entire industry into crisis. Beyond its tragic human cost, the disruption inflicted on businesses has been unprecedented. Footfall has disappeared from the high street as people practice social distancing, while demand for non-essential products such as fashion has dwindled.

With international flights grounded and much of Europe and the United States on lockdown, boutiques are concerned about how they will shift this season’s summer dresses and beachwear. Likewise, small independent fashion brands are apprehensive about retail sell-through and how their stockist partners will be able to pay their invoices.

For many businesses, innovation will be key to getting through this extremely challenging time. The government has laid out plans to help businesses with schemes such as loans and grants. However, this type of aid will only stretch so far.

Some boutiques are taking drastic measures to reach their customers. Several closed their bricks-and-mortar stores early on, deciding to concentrate on their online offering to ride out the storm. Meanwhile, those retailers without an online presence have been thinking outside of the box. Some have locked their doors for one-to-one appointments while others are conducting telephone consultations on FaceTime and personal shopping sessions via WhatsApp.

But selling to customers is just one part of retailing. Buying for the store and its shoppers is just as critical for sustaining a profitable business. Trade shows, buying trips and fashion shows are a fundamental part of the chain – and we have already seen many cancellations since the outbreak began to take hold. Will the pandemic be over when brands re-open their order books for SS21?

Forward ordering is another concern for many small independent retailers right now. With sales of SS20 season stock now under threat, many are worried about AW20 orders written just weeks ago arriving in July and August. If they decide to cancel now, what happens if sales begin to pick up and they’re left with empty rails? Likewise, if they don’t cancel, will they end up with surplus stock that they can’t pay for?

For many, using budgets to buy in-season offers a straightforward solution. Because when the panic subsides and sales begin to pick up – which they inevitably will – ensuring that stores have the right stock in place for shoppers will once again be paramount.

B2B fashion marketplaces such as TradeGala will become increasingly important for retailers. Effectively removing the need to travel or visit trade shows and showrooms, buyers can browse multiple brands online and place orders directly. The brands on the site offer in-season delivery, meaning retailers can order what they need as and when they need it. Plus, it’s easy to check live stock at a glance so buyers can see exactly what’s available with just a few clicks – minimizing any concern surrounding supply chains.

For brands, TradeGala is offering free registration during this crisis period to offer time to prepare for when the market revives. The marketplace is also building its international following of buyers, allowing labels to reach buyers in markets that are less affected by the crisis to help minimize the drop in sales.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world and the retail sector needs to adapt in order to survive. There is a challenging time ahead, but retailers and brands are working together in new and effective ways. More than ever before, it’s time to support each other. And if there’s one thing this industry is good at it’s triumphing over adversity.

fashion

TradeGala Set to Revolutionize Wholesale Fashion

TradeGala is the brainchild of Mina Melikova and Kuganeswaran Thangarajan, built to support the ever-changing wholesale market, and provide fashion suppliers the chance to meet new heights at a click of a button, especially through these more challenging times in retail.

TradeGala is a simple concept, a seamless service that connects wholesale fashion vendors and buyers from all over the world. It is an online marketplace that helps retailers find innovative styles at competitive prices from the best suppliers in the business while helping sellers expand their reach and increase sales.

Companies no longer need to invest the time, money and resource in traveling to appointments or attending trade fairs in order to make new business connections. The advance of technology has allowed TradeGala to create a cutting-edge platform which in turn allows brands to showcase their products, analyze trends and adapt to maximize business growth; while introducing a huge range of international fashion brands and suppliers to buyers, with products constantly updated to reflect the latest in fashion.

The site launches with 24 brands across accessories, activewear, casual dress, evening wear, and footwear, including Goddiva, City Goddess, Marc Angelo, KDK London, Gypsy Clothing, Conquista Fashion, Gold Lunar, Haus of Deck, Hugz Jeans, Lindy Bop, Looking Glam, Geniris Paris, Glitz Shoes and Versa Forma.

This sophisticated platform has a dedicated web platform and app to ensure orders or new content can be updated even when you are on the move.

How it works? Suppliers simply sign up to TradeGala and register online, then choose a platform that suits their needs. They have the option to choose one of the three plans – basic, premium or exclusive, and once registered upload their products and list them for sale. The quickest process to sell yet.

Our wholesale buyers place orders via the website and app, and receive order notifications via SMS, app alerts and email. The order is then packed and shipped directly from the seller, saving on time and shipping costs.

The TradeGala.com platform offers new suppliers the chance to reach 40,000 sales leads and 3,000 registered wholesale buyers immediately in over 90 countries.

Each buyer is 100% pre-screened and the team behind this platform already boasts an 87% customer satisfaction rating. With over 15 years of B2B experience in fashion and a network that is extensive and continuously growing, this platform is one of the best new opportunities for brands to establish a new business in the UK and internationally through a simple registration process and stock upload.

Other benefits include extensive marketing budgets, international SEO campaigns, heavy pay per click investment both nationally and internationally, presence at trade shows, tailored marketing campaigns, and seasonal photo shoots and fashion shows featuring your products. Plus, weekly and monthly newsletters, popular products and featured suppliers, not forgetting educational blog and vlog posts for wholesalers and retailers.

This is a new wave business tool that helps both young and well-established suppliers reach clients and markets beyond their means, it improves and fast-tracks their visibility to market and supports steady brand growth, taking away much of the traditional overhead costs.

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For further information on working with TradeGala please contact:
Yathu Kanagaratham – Yathu@citygoddess.co.uk
New Business Development Manager

Amber Domenech Patey – Amber@Citygoddess.co.uk
Project Manager

TradeGala

Online Wholesale B2B Marketplace TradeGala Makes Buying Even Easier

Chances are you’re already a regular online marketplace customer. With popular sites such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy conveniently bringing together a range of sellers, buying goods through the wholesale fashion marketplace is now as common as popping to the supermarket.

Just as we now think nothing of picking up our groceries alongside a new dress in Sainsbury’s, the majority of us also want to order what we need in one fell swoop online. The popularity of marketplace sites is hard to ignore: Amazon first launched its version 20 years ago and it now makes up over 50 percent of its overall sales – that’s $118.57 billion in 2018 alone. Many shoppers today use it as their first port of call when searching for goods to buy – even before Google.

Over in the independent fashion sector, small brands and retailers selling through such marketplaces is also becoming increasingly popular – particularly with the likes of Farfetch and Trouva gaining household name status. These sites offer access to all the best brands in one place, meaning you don’t have to venture far to find the sort of pieces that were once only available in brick-and-mortar boutiques.

However, when it comes to B2B marketplaces, there’s been a distinct lack of places where boutique buyers can make their in-season and forward order selections. That is, until now.

Step forward TradeGala, the fashion marketplace that connects independent retailers with international brands. Much like visiting a trade show or showroom, the site makes it easy for fashion buyers to source global labels in the same place online. Some of the labels on its roster are also exclusive and can’t be bought as wholesale elsewhere.

Ordering through TradeGala means buying professionals can save time and money. With a simple order process, buyers can make their store selections with just a few clicks, completely eliminating the need for complicated line sheets. It also offers centralized customer service and payment protection – meaning retailers can rest assured that they’re in safe hands. Plus, because the site is in operation 24/7, you can research and choose products whenever it suits you.

For brands, TradeGala offers greater visibility and access to new international markets and the latest technologies with minimal commitment. Smaller, independent brands are able to take their first steps into the wholesale market, which may have previously seemed too daunting. The site launched with 24 brands across accessories, active wear, casual dress, evening wear, and footwear, including Goddiva, City Goddess, Marc Angelo, KDK London, Gypsy Clothing, Gold Lunar, Haus of Deck, Hugz Jeans, Lindy Bop, Looking Glam, Geniris Paris, Glitz Shoes, Paradox London, and VILDNIS.

So, is this the future of fashion buying? It looks highly likely. Marketplaces won’t necessarily replace the more traditional methods of sourcing and purchasing, however, they’re a valuable tool in an ever more competitive industry. The most forward-thinking brands and retailers are already taking advantage of the opportunities on offer – perhaps now is the time for you to consider joining them.
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Visit TradeGala’s official website: https://www.tradegala.com for more information