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Industry Talk

Intertextile Apparel stimulates industry recovery, solidifies status

Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics welcomed over 73,500 visitors, with almost 3400 exhibitors from 20 countries and regions

29th September 2020

Knitting Industry
 |  Shanghai

Knitted Outerwear

Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics returned with its Autumn Edition from 23-25 September welcoming over 73,500 visitors, with almost 3400 exhibitors from 20 countries and regions.

Complementing the physical trade fair, new online platforms and digital solutions were added to the mix of services on offer, enhancing business opportunities amid the international travel disruptions, the organisers report. The combination of onsite and online services is said to have worked to further stimulate the industry’s recovery and maintained the fair’s leading global position in the textile apparel market.

“Intertextile Apparel running as planned has been another significant step for the industry which has received enthusiastic support from both domestic and overseas participants. Feedback from this edition and the absence of trade fairs earlier in the year has stressed the value and irreplaceability of in-person business interactions, with fairgoers keen to meet with potential buyers and suppliers face-to-face. Particularly in the textile market, where products should be seen and felt up close, visitors appreciated the chance to comprehensively source for their needs in-person. Meanwhile, exhibitors experienced a strong demand for their products from quality buyers, making up for lost business earlier in the year,” the organisers, Messe Frankfurt say.

© Messe Frankfurt.

Following the conclusion of the fair, Ms Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd agreed: “It’s apparent that the industry has greatly appreciated the return of Intertextile Apparel following the Shenzhen edition in July, as it's still recognised as an ideal platform to reconnect with business partners and to allow participants to see and feel products in-person. And with the launch of new digital solutions including the Hybrid Showcase and Connect PLUS, our online exhibitors and buyers valued the chance to be able to connect with those who were not present at the fairground.”

Ms Wen continued: “We are proud that as a trusted, reputable platform, the fair has always served as a tool for suppliers to introduce their latest collections. And this was amplified this edition as exhibitors used the fair to showcase their products in direct response to the pandemic, such as antibacterial and other functional fabrics. The business nature of the industry has also adjusted to the pandemic, with exhibitors noticing an increase in e-commerce buyers, who often request high-quality products with fast delivery services, reflecting the popularity and demand for e-commerce business.”

“Looking ahead, with the successful conclusion of the show last week, we are excited to further support the industry’s revival with the Spring Edition in March 2021, which will again combine digital solutions with the physical trade fair to create a comprehensive trade platform, accessible to all,” Ms Wen concluded.

Debut Hybrid Showcase increased sourcing efficiency

The debut Hybrid Showcase is said to have been well-received by buyers and exhibitors alike. Virtual exhibitors benefitted from fairgoers being able to touch and feel their products displayed onsite, whilst buyers enjoyed the advantages of a wide-ranging and efficient sourcing experience. Combined with the brand-new online business matching tool – Connect PLUS, which features video calling and instant messaging functions – Intertextile’s digital solutions successfully allowed businesses to stay connected, despite the global travel restrictions. Over 500 virtual and onsite meetings were arranged during the fair through Connect PLUS and the VIP business matching programme, which connected VIP buyers with suppliers via pre-scheduled Zoom meetings.

Market insights were shared at the fringe programme

The fringe programme invited industry leaders to share best practices and market insights with the audience through a range of seminars and forums. The Wool Industry and e-Commerce Forum: Upgrading Supply Mode for e-Commerce welcomed speakers from key players in the field such as The Woolmark Company and Tmall. Meanwhile, the new ‘Fabric to Fashion’ Buyer Forum explored how businesses can develop their supply chains of the future to improve productivity, increase product quality and reduce costs. What’s more, the organisers add, market changes triggered by the pandemic were also discussed during the Analysis of Current Textile Industry Environment and Emerging Covid-19 Success Story Sharing Forum, to help steer the industry forward and realise the potential of post-pandemic opportunities.

© Messe Frankfurt.

Exhibitor feedback

A selection of the shows 3400 exhibitors were interviewed and commented positively.

“The fair opening as scheduled means a lot for the industry as it’s a crucial platform for textile businesses. Despite the pandemic, many renowned denim suppliers for example are gathered at the fair. Face-to-face interaction is the bread and butter for any business and to be able to be here at the fair, reconnecting with the industry is extremely valuable and important to us,” added Dr Bei Hu, Vice President, Business Management, Greater China, BASF, Germany.

“Intertextile has always been an excellent gateway to reach our target clients. As for international customers, though many cannot travel, we are presenting our products virtually and hope to engage in successful conversations in the future. This year, we used Connect PLUS and the other digital services which have given us some extra leads and enquires. We will continue to explore this tool and use it to connect with international businesses,” commented Mr Steven Stewart, Vice President – Apparel Asia, The Lycra Company, USA.

“We have been participating in Intertextile Apparel for over 15 years now, as almost everyone involved in the textile industry visits this show or participates as exhibitors. The fair is the most ideal among many others in the industry, in terms of the quality and quantity of visitors, as well as results. Yesterday we had 250 to 300 people visit our booth,”

Explained Mr Eric Ni, Senior Manager, China Supply Chain Marketing, Cotton Council International, USA.

“We are a Swiss company and opened a branch in Shanghai last year. Many industry peers are interested in getting to know more about our business, but because of the pandemic, we haven’t had the opportunity to meet them, so the chance to join this fair means a lot to us. This show enables industry peers to network and provides an encouraging message to the industry,” said Ms Celine Huang, Chief Executive Officer, HeiQ Materials AG, Switzerland

“This is the first time this year that we have been able to meet with our customers face-to-face. This really gives us a lot of confidence and we have also had lots of positive feedback. We think the e-commerce market will do great in China, and we’ve seen these changes at the fair,” concluded Mr Jerry Du, Technical Marketing Specialist, Hyosung International Trade (Jiaxing) Co Ltd, China.

Visitors comment

Visitors were equally enthusiastic about the show.

“At the moment, we urgently need to source one kind of functional fabric, so I sorted through the exhibitors I wanted to meet on the fair website in advance. I’m very thrilled to have found the breathable fabrics I needed today at the Toray booth in the Hybrid Showcase area. The new online + offline exhibition format conforms to the current trend of digital development and reduces communication barriers between companies and customers,” said Ms Elaine Miao, Asia Pacific Purchasing Manager, Sportboleh Sdn. Bhd, Malaysia.

“I have been working in the apparel industry for nearly 30 years, and have been visiting Intertextile Apparel, both the Spring Edition and the Autumn Edition, on a yearly basis. This platform enables me to meet and communicate with our suppliers. This edition, I came to look for new things, such as sustainable products and unique designs. I think this fair is a great platform as everyone here is professional and our clients always attend this fair too,” added Mr Sun Xu, Sourcing Manager, Richland Liaoning International Co Ltd, China.

“Every year I attend this fair because our suppliers are here. I can meet several suppliers and review their samples at the same time which is very convenient. This year I’m also looking for new potential suppliers for women's apparel and I’ve met about 10 suitable suppliers which I'm satisfied with. I think it is very helpful to be able to touch and feel the fabrics physically at this fair, compared to online, where you can only watch videos," concluded Mr B.S Kim, Managing Director, HTI America Corp, USA.

Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Autumn Edition 2020 was held concurrently with Yarn Expo Autumn, CHIC and PH Value from 23-25 September at the National Exhibition and Convention Center. The fair is co-organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd; the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; and the China Textile Information Centre.

The next edition of the fair, Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Spring Edition, will again take place alongside Yarn Expo Spring, Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles – Spring Edition, CHIC and PH Value, from 10 – 12 March 2021, at the National Exhibition and Convention Center.

www.intertextileapparel.com

www.messefrankfurt.com.hk

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