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Colombiatex 2019 Textile Buyers Colombiatex 2019 Textile Buyers Source: Inexmoda

Colombiatex 2019 Sales Deals Jump Dramatically Year-on-Year, Hit US$481 Million

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The just-concluded, 31st annual “Colombiatex” textile and clothing trade show at Medellin’s Plaza Mayor convention center here generated an estimated US$481 million in sales expectations for 2019 – an estimated 26% jump over 2018 indications, according to show organizer Inexmoda.

Speaking to an overflow crowd of national and international journalists here January 24, Inexmoda president Carlos Eduardo Botero cited unusually heavy trade-show traffic starting from the first day of the three-day show.

In all, 22,482 people from 52 countries – including 14,424 buyers -- attended this year’s show, which occupied the entire Plaza Mayor facilities, spilling out into tents temporarily set-up in adjacent parking and staging areas.

That strong first day was a big indicator that Colombia’s textile and clothing industries – principally located in Medellin and Antioquia – are indeed recovering from the 2017 economic recession, Botero said.

Of the 508 companies with trade-show booths here this year, 61% were Colombian nationals (326 in total), with Antioquia dominating at 48%, followed by Cundinamarca/Bogota with 42%.

Of the 208 international exhibitors, 21% were from India, followed by Brazil (20%), Spain (13%), Italy (9%) and the USA (6%), he said.

Among the USA exhibitors was export trade specialist Cotton USA, a major show sponsor. According to the group, sales of U.S. cotton fibers to Colombian textile and clothing manufacturers had dropped sharply year-on-year during the 2017 recession. But 2018 preliminary data indicate a rebound, especially in the specialty “open-end” threads favored by Colombian manufacturers for certain blouses and higher-quality clothes.

Of the projected sales resulting from this year's show, 42% were for textiles, 20% for machinery, 15% for supplies, 8% in threads and fibers and 4% in high-tech systems, according to Inexmoda.

Botero added that the average sales tickets rose year-on-year, thanks to stronger economic indicators and also because of 1,300 specially organized, prearranged conferences between sellers and buyers.

Inexmoda, Colombia trade promotion agency ProColombia and the Medellin Mayor’s Office also organized a separate trade round for 65 international buyers, meeting with 170 Colombian sellers, focused mainly upon sportswear, work clothes, underwear and swimwear. Among the buyers: U.S.-based global entertainment giant Disney.

An additional group of 126 first-time Colombiatex buyers -- from 21 countries enjoying free-trade or low-tariff agreements with Colombia -- also enjoyed special access to national sellers, according to ProColombia vice-president Juliana Villegas.

A parallel “knowledge fair” organized by Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) at the adjacent Teatro Metropolitano featured 22 conferences attended by 8,470 in-person and another 7,719 via streaming in cooperation with local TV station TeleMedellin. An additional 300 persons attended six other workshops here on practical aspects of fashion and marketing.

Meanwhile, a related “tendencies forum” included 11 expert sessions on the latest trends in textiles, accessories and denimwear, attended by another 2,000, while a “graphic arts market” special section featured the work of 21 Colombia graphic artists involved in novel fashion design.

Among the more unusual technologies displayed at this year’s show was a computerized scheme developed by Brazil-based Audaces, which employs “avatar” three-dimensional “virtual mannequins,” tied to computer-driven, customized clothing production.

The system aims to enable customers to enter a retail store, get fitted there for an “avatar” computerized body representation, then – using an in-store computer and screen -- choose from a pre-determined variety of styles, designs, colors and specifications for clothing, as Audaces international sales manager Eduardo Lopez explained to Medellin Herald.

This scheme could produce a final product at the factory in as few as 20 minutes, although delivery to the final customer would take more time -- perhaps a couple of days, and possibly involving home-delivery. Rollout of the complete system at Colombian retail stores hasn't yet happened, but it could become an attractive marketing scheme especially for larger chain retailers.

Several other novel companies here were promoting environmentally-friendly textiles (including organic cotton), which reduce impacts to water supplies from field-to-factory, as well as during subsequent clothes-washing cycles.

Another group of “Origin Colombia” companies were promoting products made-locally and-marketed-internationally, while a “private sale” section at the show featured the latest work of top local designers.

Read 771 times Last modified on Last modified on July 13 2019

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About Medellin Herald

Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

U.S. native Roberto Peckham, who founded Medellin Herald in 2015, has been residing in metro Medellin since 2005 and has traveled regularly and extensively throughout Colombia since 1981.

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