Stockholm Fashion Week aims to buck the recession

Stockholm Fashion Week opens on Monday. Despite the impact of the recession on the industry arrangers are hopeful that buyers will be ready to open their wallets.

“It has been quite tough but now everyone is starting to see positive signs,” said Lotta Ahlvar, CEO of the Swedish Fashion Council.

The Fashion Council organizes the Stockholm Fashion Week which will feature a range of fashion labels displaying their spring 2010 collections.

“It is a decisive period. Companies that work with relatively prompt deliveries have reported that sales have improved in stores recently. Over the next week we will get a feel for how it looks across the industry,” Ahlvar said.

“I think that the situation will ease this time around and that buyers have the confidence to expand their budgets.”

According to Svensk Handel Stil, clothing sales in Sweden declined by around one percent during the first half of this year. More tourists and a weaker krona boosted sales during June.

Companies have less money and are therefore pooling their resources and cooperating around shows and showrooms during this year’s fashion week.

“Necessity is the mother of invention. When I talk to several of these companies there is a more positive outlook; they are not going to put on shows for a half a million but will instead be creative in how they display their wares,” Ahlvar said.

During the first half of 2009 the retail trade has seen bankruptcies climb by around 50 percent. This hits the fashion industry as the number of sales outlets declines.

In Denmark the crisis has been felt stronger than in Sweden and a number of Danish firms will hold joint showings at this year’s fashion week.

Turnover in the Danish retail sector has declined by five percent during the first half of the year, according to figures from sector organization Dansk Detail.

“It is primarily the stores that are having a tough time of it, and that has led for example to the bankruptcy of Baum und Pferdgarten and its subsequent takeover by Bruuns Bazaar,” Lotta Ahlvar said.

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