AIS Intimates trade show rebrands as INDX

The seasonal trade show run in Solihull by (AIS) Associated Independent Stores took place under the name Indx last month, after opening its doors to non-members for the first time.

The non-profit making event has long been an essential calendar date for members of AIS, and for the brands lucky enough to count themselves among the “preferred traders” for the association, but it has remained under the radar for those buyers and producers who are not part of the group.

Exhibitors at the show included Courtaulds, DB Apparel, Charnos & Lepel, Panache and Eveden.

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The decision this season to allow non-members to attend the show had the potential to alienate those who pay for membership, but the overall mood at the event was positive, partly thanks to the
redesigned trading space, which featured more spacious stands, lingerie tableaus in the entrance and a new cafe area in the centre of the room.

Exhibitor areas were also categorised into underwear, nightwear and hosiery. “Our focus has always been and will always be our membership stores,” said Louise Garner, Womenswear Controller at AIS. “The Lingerie & Legwear Show, as it was previously known, was always open to non-member stores on the last day – we recognised that we were the only show aimed strictly at Independent Retailers and we therefore felt it would be beneficial for everyone to extend this non-member day, to be open to all buyers for the full three days. The decision to rebrand and relaunch the show under the ‘INDX’ umbrella reflects this major change.

“Going forward, the INDX group of shows will encompass Intimate Apparel & Swimwear, Womenswear & Footwear, Accessories & Travel Goods and Menswear.”

The show, which took place from March 19-21, saw a steady footfall with a quieter final day, as expected, and exhibitors reported solid order-writing from both regular and new clients. Figures for the trading are not yet available, but anecdotal evidence points to a successful show.

“We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from buyers and exhibitors alike,” said Garner. “Buyers love the informal but professional buying environment. We have always been an ‘order-writing’ show and will continue to be so.

“As the show does not permit ‘general ’ admittance, the show is ‘protected’, so buyers and exhibitors can rest assured that everyone that comes through the doors is an independent
retailer,” she continued.

The next intimates show as part of AIS will take place from September 18-20 2013, and will feature swimwear as part of its offer, said Garner.

“INDX Intimate Apparel & Swimwear is set to be even more exciting, and when we open the doors in September, buyers will be able to enjoy unrivalled facilities and a carefully selected line-up of over 65 leading brands across underwear and swimwear,” she concluded.

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