Trade Show Benefits
By Ali Cudby
I occasionally hear retailers ask if they really need to attend the lingerie trade shows, and it always surprises me. There are so many benefits to being at the shows! There’s tremendous value in getting out of a store and into the larger world of lingerie.
First, retailers can feel isolated in their stores, even when surrounded by their staff. It can be lonely at the top, and shows provide an excellent chance to mingle with folks in similar roles. Swapping war stories and sharing what works – and what doesn’t – is invaluable. Second, shows like Curve and Salon International de la Lingerie offer looks beyond the current collections at the upcoming trends and innovations. It’s helpful to understand where the industry will be heading in coming seasons.
Most importantly, being at the shows is an opportunity to see new and different lines from the ones a store already carries. Walking through the aisles and taking a peek at the offerings can be inspirational, and gives a shot of new into the mix of tried and true. A dash of color here, a new shape there, or finding a product that’s missing in your current product mix can inject energy into your store. It’s particularly helpful to check out smaller brands that wouldn’t otherwise hit your radar screen.
Trying a new brand is healthy for your product mix, and great for employees, who are energized by variety. Introducing a new line also provides another great reason to reach out to customers, beckoning them to return and check out the new goodies.
Strolling the most recent CurveNY and Lingerie Collective shows, I was inspired by numerous brands that a retailer would never get a chance to see if not for the access provided by the trade shows. Here are just a few of the lines that delighted and inspired me at this year’s shows.
Lola – the new diffusion line by Lola Haze, with all items at or below $70.
Claudette’s new Ouvert line, featuring functioning buttons at the bra cup and on the bottom.
Max Holliday: Mimi Holliday’s new introduction of men’s swimwear, complete with Liberty’s of London prints
Body suit from Lascivious – at the new Lingerie Collective show