Apparel - - News - RAHUL MEHTA

Dear Friends,

By the time you re­ceive this Edi­tion of Ap­parel, you would be in the midst of the Big­gest Trade Show in Tex­tiles in In­dia. It gives me im­mense pride, plea­sure, and a sense of sat­is­fac­tion, to ex­tend to all of you a warm wel­come to the 67th Na­tional Gar­ment Fair, be­ing held in Mum­bai from the 16th to the 19th July. Close to 1,100 Brands will dis­play their Au­tumn/ Win­ter and Fes­tive Col­lec­tions to over 60,000 Re­tail­ers ex­pected to at­tend Sev­eral in­no­va­tions have been tried this time – mak­ing the Fair a 4 day event in­stead of the usual 3 days. This ex­per­i­ment has been brought about pri­mar­ily from the feed­back re­ceived from many of our vis­i­tors, who find it vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to cover all their sup­pli­ers and con­nect with new sup­pli­ers over a 3 day Fair. Of course, we have been grad­u­ally ex­tend­ing the Fair hours to nearly 11 hours – the Fair now closes as late as 9 PM, but even this does not seem to satisfy the needs of the buy­ers and the par­tic­i­pants. And, hence, the ex­per­i­ment of hav­ing a 4 day Fair. As a spe­cial ges­ture, CMAI has not con­sid­ered the in­creased cost of the 4th day whilst fix­ing the par­tic­i­pa­tion charges this time, but if the ex­per­i­ment is suc­cess­ful this may have to be fac­tored in from the next Fair on­wards. The other ex­per­i­ment is to have a ‘Non Dec­o­ra­tion Fair’ - a Fair where all the stalls, ir­re­spec­tive of the size, will be based on pre-con­structed stalls by CMAI. Many mem­bers have ex­pressed their con­cern at the in­creas­ing cost of par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Fair. Whilst all ap­pre­ci­ate the rea­sons for these in­creases, and in­deed its in­evitabil­ity, it cer­tainly is a pinch for some. I be­lieve that in the race to outdo the next door neigh­bour in mak­ing at­trac­tive stalls, mem­bers do end up spend­ing at least 15% to 20% more on dec­o­ra­tions. In a non-dec­o­ra­tive Fair, all stalls are the same ex­cept in size. This not only saves cost for our par­tic­i­pants, it also puts ev­ery­one on a more equal foot­ing. But yes, this move will re­duce the glam­our por­tion of the Fair to some ex­tent. This is why I call this an ex­per­i­ment. I am keenly await­ing the feed­back, es­pe­cially from the vis­it­ing Re­tail­ers, to this move. So once again, here is wish­ing all of you a great sea­son ahead, and all the best for an ex­tremely suc­cess­ful Fair.

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