Cautious optimism characterized the 12th edition of the CPM (Collection Premiere Moscow) trade show, which took place in Moscow from Feb. 24-27.

The season’s first major exhibition for the Russian fashion business featured F/W 2009-10 collections presented by 1,300 brands from 34 countries. This number was 200 fewer exhibitors than the previous edition, in Sept. 2008. The total number of visitors (16,100) also decreased (1,800 less than last year), but the visitors were more selected: more than half were retail managers. In addition, one out of four was a first-time attendee, which testifies the importance attributed to this show as an information platform and a chance to improve business opportunities in the situation created by the fall of oil prices and currency exchange rates.

Thus, the expanded four-day business program of CPM was considered a success.

More than 7,000 people attended 30 conferences, roundtables and workshops of the Russian Fashion Retail Forum, organized by the Igedo Company in cooperation with the Russian retail association APRIM. Among the topics discussed during the forum were the influence of the global financial crisis on the apparel market, consumer behavior during the economic crisis, methods of optimizing retail systems, franchising and new technologies in brand promotion. Maria Smorchkova, APRIM President, underlined that the crisis would create a more mature, responsible and sustainable model of fashion retail business in Russia.

“We are more than satisfied with the outcome of this edition. The trade show was in part far more successful for the exhibitors than expected,” said Philipp Kronen, Managing Partner of the Igedo Company. “All major buyers came to Moscow, notwithstanding the tense situation prevailing on the Russian market currently. Russian retail is working very hard to adapt to the changing conditions and sees in this numerous opportunities for the future. This gives me hope that the storm will abate somewhat in the coming year.”

The Italian delegation, coordinated by EMI (Ente Moda Italia), representing the largest exhibitor contingent after Germany, also expressed satisfaction. “In difficult times such as these, Italian labels will do everything they can to maintain their position in the Russian market,” assured Antonio Gavazzeni, President of EMI.

The 13th edition of CPM – Collection Premiere Moscow will take place on Sept. 6-9, 2009 at the Moscow Expocentre fairgrounds.

—Oxana Senchenko