India International Garment Fair (IIGF), one of the established fairs in the international apparel arena, concluded with a lower buyer turnout this year. However, Team Apparel Online was able to meet some good buyers having significant number of stores. Most of these buyers were positive about their current and future business prospects, while some of the first-timers were looking to start sourcing from India. Many of them were only interested to work with certified exporters, and some were even changing their strategy to get better benefits from India sourcing. Even though individual needs may differ, there was a consensus on the importance of having more exhibitors with wider variety of products. Added to this there was focus on product development, giving the fair an international feel, but which many felt was missing.
Rayan H. Baeshen, GM, Glitter
The company: Retailer has in total 7 stores in countries like Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. We source very high-end range. The prices of some of our pieces go up to more than US $ 1,000. We are targeting high-level customers. Apart from ladieswear, some of our business is also in kidswear.
Sourcing from India: Most of my sourcing is from India; and I am sourcing from this country since last 14 years. Each year we pick up more than 40,000 to 50,000 pieces; besides we are increasing sourcing by 20 to 25 per cent from India alone every year.
Current market/future plans: Worldwide economy is slow but still we are able to make profit. Hopefully we will open new stores, one each in Dubai, Sharjah and Riyadh.
About IIGF: I am fine with IIGF, this time I liked some new suppliers. I must appreciate some of these collections too.
Jaroslaw Frajda, Buyer, Top Secret, Poland
The company: The company has 400 stores across Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Russia. It is present in the market through various kinds of stores. The company focuses a lot on product development, so we have our own designers too.
Sourcing from India: We are sourcing from India from last five years, and depending on style and order, we can go up to and even more than 2,000 pieces per style. As we are regularly coming with new collections so number of styles are much more. Value addition techniques like embroidery is something we like about Indian products, we are ready to source from new vendors too if designs impress us. For sure we are going to increase our sourcing from India by at least 15 to 20 per cent. Moving further, we are looking for some exporters who can manufacture leather jackets.
Current market/future plans: Market is currently not too supportive, but we are hoping that it will be better soon, as policies are changing. The company may open new stores in countries where it is not working currently.
Afaf Seyam, Designer and Hiroya Kniuta, Marketing & Key Account Coordinator, RUYI, New York,
The company: A wholesaler of ladieswear working with hundreds of retailers (mainly based in US). RUYI has manufacturing set ups in China and a design office in New York.
Sourcing from India: As of now the company is not sourcing from India but will start very soon, probably with a holiday line. “We are looking for texture and design work. The products will be eveningwear (beaded) and accessory. We will prefer compliance certified exporters who can happily do small (200 pieces) as well as medium or big size orders too. Our quantity depends on further response from our customers.
About IIGF: It’s quite good as we met a lot of people, but I also heard in past that it used to be more interesting and a bigger fair.
Elad Ben Zion Vered and Zeev Binenfeld, Fox Wizel Ltd., Israel
About the company: The company which is 40 years old has 600 stores in Israel and across the world.
Sourcing from India: Our company is sourcing from India for the last 15 years and is also working with China and Bangladesh in knitted as well as woven products like ladieswear and Tees.
Current market/future plans: Market is amazing for us and we are growing at least 20 per cent every year.
About the IIGF: The fair should have more participants from Tirupur or at least from those manufacturing hubs making Tees. Whatever manufacturers are here, are showing more or less the same designs and fabrics. Even I buy more products/variety from India as compared to the displayed variety at this fair.
George Zheng, Merchandising Manager – Apparel, ICA Global Sourcing (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.
The company: The Swedish company is having 2,600 retail stores and sourcing offices in and around Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangladesh and Vietnam. It is sourcing all kinds of garments.
Sourcing from India: I am looking for some new Indian suppliers for apparel and accessories since it is my first visit to IIGF. I feel the show should have even more knitted garment suppliers. We are working with Tirupur-based suppliers but they are doing basic items only, and not much of fashion products.
Kirsten Sharp, Buyer (Accessories) & Laura Sherrington, Junior Buyer (Accessories), Boohoo.com, UK
The company: Boohoo.com is one of the biggest UK-based online retailer selling apparel, accessories as well as footwear. The portal is known for quick turnaround, high fashion.
Sourcing from India: The company is sourcing from India from over last 10 years and almost 25 exporters are associated with it for all product categories. We are always exploring new suppliers to get something new and different, or get better pricing.”
Current market/future plans: Our business is strengthening from last many years and there is no impact of BREXIT. With very competitive price and ease of online buying, more and more customers are associated with us.
About IIGF: We had some very good meetings in the fair; some of the beadwork was done beautifully which impressed us. We do a lot of bags and clutches and some of the booths had appealing products in this category. And the main thing is that the prices offered were reasonable. Still we must say that most of the booths had similar products, they should follow or club western trends with Indian strength.
Ziad Deham, Maria E De Deham and Tarek Deham, Presidente, Venezuela
The company: The company is a wholesaler and has its own 17 stores across Venezuela.
Sourcing from India: We stopped sourcing from India in recent years due to certain issues, but as we have experience of over 22 years working with India, we wish to restart our sourcing from India. This is why we came to IIGF and also to get idea about new items and price.
Current market/future plans: Currently economy in Venezuela is very weak so now we are planning to start wholesale business in Panama. Panama is a free zone and we don’t need to pay tax there and being from Panama we can cater to whole of Latin America (For Brazil, Columbia, Central America etc.)
About IIGF: The variation in collection is satisfactory but we didn’t discuss price in the event. Once we will visit the factories, we will finalize the things.
Simone Irani, Simone Irani, Singapore
About the company: Having one store in Singapore, the brand is known for resortwear. Maximum order of any product is about 50 pieces, but number of styles is more.
Sourcing from India: We are sourcing from India for last 10 years, and it is mostly from Delhi and Mumbai. When good price is being offered, Indian suppliers are open to do smaller quantities too and which works well for us.
Current market/future plan: Planning to start online as well as wholesale also without limiting myself within Singapore. Online business will hopefully start this year as we are getting many enquiries to get these products through online but wholesale will take some time.