Among the countries with which Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags is forging fruitful relations and relationships is the United Kingdom. During the last edition of the fair, in January 2023, Qasim and Kashif Jabbar, both buyers and Managing Directors of Ikrush, were present at the event. The e-commerce company, founded in 2012, aims to provide trendy clothing, accessories and footwear, targeting mainly the female market between the ages of 18 and 35.
What is your main target market and what is its situation?
We mainly focus on the UK market, but also do business with Europe and North America. In each market, there are challenges and difficulties, also due to changes and fluctuations in business. There have been many changes that companies have had to adapt to. Particularly in the fashion world there was great uncertainty due to the different living conditions that the pandemic forced us into. On the other hand, coming out of that situation pushed people to desire even more worldly occasions. Now everyone seems much more style- and fashion-conscious than in the past.
What are the difficulties and advantages of the online market?
We are primarily an online retailer, which gives us the advantage of reaching a large potential audience. On the other hand, there are also some difficulties to consider: for example, the larger number of competitors and the need to find specific strategies to stand out against global competition. We exploit social media, among other things, to expand our customer base, but it is necessary to put in place precise action plans to attract attention.
What qualities do you look for in a supplier?
It is very important for us to be able to give our customers beautiful, quality products; these are the characteristics that consumers want and expect most. Therefore, what we look for first and foremost in our suppliers is a great attention to quality, a special eye for style and product details and, if possible, a competitive price. In addition, the production process is also important to us. We believe in sustainability and ethical work, in doing good for the planet and in respecting the conditions of the workers and all those involved in the supply chain.
Are there any countries you prefer to buy from at the moment?
We are working mainly with the European market and the Far East. In these markets we are finding those characteristics that are important to us: quality, a unique and special style, attention to production processes in terms of sustainability and ethicality.
What products are you looking for next season?
For the Autumn-Winter 23/24 season we are looking for different types of footwear: from boots with special features such as chunky soles, knee-high boots with or without laces, special colours and details that make them unique and special products. In addition, there is a continuous demand for trainers but also for elegant, high-heeled shoes suitable for different occasions of use.
How was your experience at the trade fair in Riva del Garda?
This was our first time at Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags and we were pleasantly impressed. It is an excellent event where you can meet so many brands, manufacturers, sellers and buyers from all over the world. In addition to business opportunities, a trade fair like this provides a comprehensive look at the entire industry.