Footfall strong at Vicenza, focus turns to Christmas season
By Tom Wildhern
VICENZA, Italy, September 14, 2009 - The corridors at the Vicenza Fair were full this week as buyers and visitors jostled past each other to admire the latest jewellery designs with the focus shifting to the Christmas season.
Fiera di Vicenza
Vicenza Fair organisers expressed confidence and optimism about the outlook for new orders as the general mood improved despite the backdrop of economic crisis.
It seems that the mood has lifted at Vicenza, just as it had done at International Jewellery London (IJL) a week before.
Domenico Girardi, the general manager of the Vicenza Fair, told Jewellery Outlook in a video interview to be broadcast later this week, that he was pleased with the footfall as the show reached the half way point.
Mattia Cielo, who heads one of Italy's most dynamic Italian brands which bears his name, was seen chatting to a large group of American buyers outside his stand in the prestigious B1 hall today.
He later told Jewellery Outlook that the domestic market for Italian jewellery appeared to be picking up, and that he had high expectations for top-end jewellery demand in Russia.
Schreiner, which had one of the most prominent booths at the Vicenza Fair in front of the main entrance, had a full appointment book today and saw impoving prospects in some Asian markets including Singapore and Bangkok, according to its vice-president, Ulrike Kielbassa.
Fiera di Vicenza
Middle Eastern demand remains patchy, she said.
"This edition of the Vicenza fair is the last important jewellery event in Europe before Christmas, so we had to be here," Kielbassa told Jewellery Outlook.
Jewellery trade sources expressed concerns over the slow pace of demand for jewellery and watches in the United Arab Emirates, the leading market for Italian precious jewellery exports.
"Russian buying has slowed and sales of top-end Swiss watches are sharply down in Dubai," said Arnold Pinto, Chief Editor of Dubai-based Day & Night magazine and a regular visitor to the Vicenza Fair.
He said jewellery retailers were hoping for a recovery in demand in the United Arab Emirates during Eid al-Fitr starting in late September 2009.