Many big names showing at the inaugural edition of UK Bridal Week will be reserving their main collection for the Birmingham event. Save the date now – 12-14 May – and visit ukbridalweek.co.uk for regular updates and to register!
The research findings that have formed the structure for the buying circuit’s newest trade event, the long-awaited
UK Bridal Week, indicate a clear picture of the industry today, with its many strengths, its current challenges
and, more than anything else, its need to change.
Competition from high-street specialist chains and bridal collections created as add-ons to leading fashion brands looking to broaden their reach, coupled with the increasing availability of online product, have added to the uncertainty that runs throughout the industry – not just here but across the world. But, talk to the well-established retailers who have a clearly defined target audience and the marketing nous to reach it, and they are reporting steady sales and year-on-year increases.
Why? Well, they say it is because they are focusing on quality brands, on designer names, on bridal fashion with bravo, making it plain they are interested in the bride with a generous budget and preference for luxury labels that carry a prestigious, respected name. And brides who, of course, do want that fairytale experience that only true professionals can deliver.
These same retailers, research has shown, are single-minded in their buying, handpicking the brands that they know their audience will respond to and, within those collections, the pieces that possess a special personality. By pegging themselves at the premium end of the market, they are not challenged by the high street, or the internet, or the budget ranges on offer to consumers on a tight budget.
All of this has influenced the shape and form and aim of UK Bridal Week, where quality, not quantity, is the key factor. Some of the labels showing will have aired their secondary collections earlier in the year, but it is their core big brands’ 2020 ranges that will get their first-time viewing in May at the Birmingham show.
Timing is crucial in this business of ours and increasing suppliers are looking for a once-a-year opportunity to showcase and sell their main collections, putting sales reps on the road to visit stockists each month.
Retailers, too, who recognise the need to be in their shops dealing with customers and with enough time to concentrate on their own marketing and communications campaigns, have given an annual event the thumbs up, and the May date as best suited for their delivery needs.
So no… at UK Bridal Week you will not see mass-market brands that will sell to one and all and are priced to compete with the high street; and you will not see hundreds and hundreds of collections that simply replicate each other’s offering.
What you will discover at this new-style trade event are the labels that will put you, as a boutique owner, on a different stage. Here, luxury is the style and exclusivity is a major selling point. This is, after all, what the future of bridal is all about.
For further information about visiting and exhibiting at UK Bridal Week, contact:
+44 (0)7908 653364