BabyKid Spain+Fimi closes an edition marked by internationalisation
In what many have described as "the edition of recovery," the children's fashion, footwear, childcare and toy fair has made progress in its international roll-out strategy. Held from January 26 to 28 at Feria Valencia, the event welcomed visitors from more than 40 countries, invited over 250 international buyers and hosted more than 400 brands presenting their latest products and collections across an area of more than 20,000 square metres spread over two pavilions.
"We have doubled our surface area and we have increased our number of brands exponentially", boasted the show's director, Alicia Gimeno, underlining that the event is highly attended by visitors as "it is the only one of its kind in the world," adding, "There is no other fair that generates these synergies in the children's sector: childcare, children's and youth fashion, footwear, accessories, toys, cosmetics, etc. The sector's entire range of products in one single space."
With the aim of becoming a global event, BabyKid Spain+Fimi doubled its number of international visitors with an international guest buyer programme that attracted more than 250 professionals from all over the world.
"They are VIP professionals who are looking for the latest trends and novelties in these new collections", explained the organisers about the program, which focuses on attracting "high quality international buyers." Organised in collaboration with IVACE, ICEX, Asepri and Feria Valencia, the event was attended by industry professionals from over 40 countries, including Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Portugal, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Dominican Republic, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Slovenia and Croatia.
Pending the publication of the event's official attendance figures, in terms of the presence of Spanish buyers, the trade show saw a record number of pre-registrations, with more than 1,800 points of sale from all of Spain's autonomous communities. Likewise, the event reported a growth of more than 15%, both in supply and demand, and expects its recorded number of visitors to exceed 5,000.
Spread over two separate pavilions, the participating brands amounted to more than 400 exhibitors, including more than 120 fashion brands and almost 300 childcare companies. While Hall 1 was dedicated to childcare firms, Hall 2 offered a combination of children's product brands and fashion firms. The event's main challenge was to offer a "trade fair where professionals can find anything related to the world of children's products."
A packed program featuring international guest buyers and widespread optimism
"This edition has a much better ambience than last year's and, clearly, a much better ambience than the summer editions. The idea of sharing the space with the childcare sector is very favourable and attracts even more visitors", explained the Galician company Foque, a seasoned veteran of the children's trade fair, to FashionNetwork.com.
"The commitment to internationalisation has resulted in numerous exchanges with international buyers and we hope to close deals that will allow us to expand our presence or enter new markets such as Guatemala, for example," said the representatives of the brand, which currently has an extensive international retail network of around 300 points of sale with England being its main market in terms of turnover. In fact, the brand's next stop will be the INDX Kids fair in Birmingham to be held on January 29th and 30th.
For their part, the Spanish company Pan con chocolate was pleased with having made "quite a few contacts," although their expectations were higher. The representatives of the made-in-Spain brand preferred to maintain a certain degree of prudence, as "it is not so much about the contacts that are created at the fair but about those that are established afterwards."
The company, directed by Jesús Murúa, that counts Spain as its main market will be presenting its products at the Playtime New York trade fair, to be held from February 12 to 14. This will mark its post-pandemic return to professional trade fairs.
The brand specialising in children's footwear, Conguitos, agreed with the widespread optimism regarding the show's international exposure. At least 50% of the contacts they established were foreign customers, which they found "surprising", given that they were expecting a "more domestic fair" for their first time participating in the event.
This decision to take part in fashion fairs was due to the recent diversification of the brand's offering into children's clothing. In any case, its presence at the event saw around 80% of customers interested in its well-established footwear range. Conguitos will soon be exhibiting at the Milanese children's footwear fair Micam, to be held from February 19th to 22nd.
In terms of recovery, Foque admitted that the atmosphere has improved even compared to pre-pandemic fairs; just as the Alcoy firm Bimbidreams stated that "expectations were more than met" and that they received "many orders" and were able to enter new markets.
Caminito, another brand representing the growing footwear sector, closed the event with positive results. "We have made many new contacts and we were visited by professionals from many different countries," they stated. Filipa Rodríguez, designer and managing director of the Tenerife brand, also shared these feelings: "This year we have had many foreign clients. Some have even come after having watched one of our runway shows. It's a promotional tool that really works."
A turnover of 1.1 billion euros in 2021
On the occasion of its first time attending the event, the Argentinian brand Cheeki made no secret of its enthusiasm. "It was a gamble and we are very surprised with the good results. It is strange to have to explain who we are here, but the truth is that we are very excited," declared Hernán Gálvez, commercial director of the well-known brand, which already has more than 210 points of sale in its country of origin.
According to the latest data provided by Asepri (Spanish Association of Children's Products), children's fashion and childcare products in Spain increased their turnover by 12.2% in 2021, up to 1.1 billion euros. Exports accounted for 53% of registered sales, led by Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom and France. The European market accounted for 63% of exports.
While the domestic market shrank by 2%, affected by low birth rates, the online channel gained a foothold thanks to its rising market share during the year. At the end of last year, Asepri estimated an 8.7% growth in the sector and, for 2023, the outlook for turnover growth decreased marginally to 7%.
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