August’s Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles – Autumn Edition is set to take place in the midst of a surging retail recovery in China, something that was also confirmed by participants in last March’s Spring Edition. International home and contract textiles suppliers unable to attend the fair in-person can still take part through a range of hybrid exhibiting options. Taking place from 25 – 27 August, the fair will be held concurrently with Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics, Yarn Expo Autumn, PH Value and CHIC.
While the economic impact of the pandemic has made comparisons with last year difficult, a clear trend is emerging in China in recent months: retail sales have well and truly recovered, and consumer confidence looks to be back. April was the ninth straight month of increases in retail trade according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. For January and February specifically, sales were up 33.8% compared to the same period last year, and according to Macquarie, even when removing the effects of the pandemic, they still rose 3.1%.
Looking ahead, in Consensus Forecast survey by FocusEconomics conducted in March, participants expected retail sales to increase 12.9% overall in 2021, which is up 0.3 percentage points from the previous month’s estimate. In 2022, the panel foresees retail sales expanding 7.4%. And according to research from Mintel, China’s total consumer spending is expected to return to its pre-Covid-19 level in 2021, and continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.3% from 2021 to 2024.
This confidence was also reported by exhibitors at the fair’s Spring Edition earlier this year. “The overall result this edition is good. The pandemic has had a big impact on our overseas market and orders, however domestic sales are increasing,” Ms Linda Hu, Sales Manager, Anhui Million Feather Co Ltd, China commented. “The pandemic did not have much impact on home textile companies, but rather, as everyone stayed home during the pandemic, they now have higher quality requirements for interior products,” Mr Leo Chen, General Manager, Yantai Pacific Home Fashion Co Ltd, China opined.
Hybrid exhibiting options ensure overseas suppliers can benefit from Chinese market potential
Suppliers who can’t travel to China for the fair can still display their companies’ offerings onsite through two options. An individual product display booth allows companies to showcase their products physically for buyers to see and touch, with staff on-hand to collect the contact details of those interested. A further option is the Intertextile Gallery, a shared display area for overseas suppliers to present their company and product information together with other international brands. In addition, a range of advertising options throughout the fairground and on the fair’s digital platforms are available, including for companies not exhibiting at the fair. These can be especially useful to overseas brands unable to participate in the fair as usual last year and this year to ensure they remain visible to Chinese buyers.
New Cross-border e-commerce Zone to feature
With more and more retail sales taking place online, a trend accelerated by the pandemic, Intertextile has responded with a new Cross-border e-commerce Zone this edition. The area will feature e-commerce platforms, warehousing and distribution providers, electronic payment companies and other service providers related to this field. A seminar programme focused on e-commerce will also take place as part of the zone, allowing exhibitors to learn more about the new channels on offer and giving them knowledge on retail sales in overseas markets.
Other areas of the fair include country & region pavilions from Belgium, Taiwan and Turkey, as well as zones for carpets, finished products, textile design, textile technology, contract business and editors. The latter will include the likes of JAB Anstoetz Interior, SohoCUT, Ashley Wilde, PT, Morphrow, SATI, Hercules and Lanzi.