Countdown to Pulse

With just one day before the doors open, this year’s edition of London trade show Pulse is shaping up to be ‘an unmissable showcase of fresh talent mixing alongside well-established design brands,’ according to organiser Clarion Events.

Across the venue of Olympia from Sunday (May 14) to Tuesday (May 16), visitors can expect to see more than 500 brands showcasing new interior accessories, giftware, stationery & greetings, wellbeing, fashion accessories and jewellery. Making its debut this year at Pulse is Makers, billed as the UK’s largest platform of emerging designer-makers; and the launch of Brands, an edit of launches from 30 leading brands.

Other highlights include the first look at upcoming Spring/Summer 2018 design trends from Pulse’s trend forecasting partner Unique Style Platform (USP), and the UAL (University of the Arts London) stand. This will feature products from ceramics and homeware to greetings cards and fashion accessories from 17 businesses launched by UAL students and alumni.

Finally, the Shoptalk conference programme, devised to provide practical insights to support and inform retail businesses, will run on every day of the show.

The agenda includes three keynote speakers from Skandium, Heal’s and

On Sunday, Skandium and owner and co-founder Christina Schmidt will discuss ‘Telling a Story Through Design’. Skandium is a retailer and contract dealer of modern Scandinavian furniture, lighting and homeware, with stores in London and online. Since opening Skandium in 1999, Christina has also been working with interior design for clients via using Scandinavian furniture as the main focus. She will argue that storytelling is vital to help products stand out from the crowd and advise on how this can be achieved through the power of design.

On Monday, Heal’s product and design manager Kirsty Whyte will talk on the subject of ‘Designer Collaborations: Who? What? Why?’ Heal’s is a five-strong housewares and homeware chain with a long history of collaborating with prominent designers, as well as discovering stars of the future. Kirsty will explore what a designer collaboration looks like and why it can be mutually beneficial for both retailers and designers.

On Tuesday, it’s the turn of Ruth Wasserman, head of design at This brand designs and retails homeware and furniture online, with three showrooms in London, Liverpool and Yorkshire. In a session entitled ‘Knowing Your Customer’, Ruth will give an insight into what does to understand its customer, and how research about lifestyles informs its product offering.

Other ShopTalk highlights include a talk by Rebecca Hossain. She is head of retail and publishing at The Design Museum in London, which is devoted to contemporary design in every form from product, industrial and graphic to architecture and fashion.

With decades of experience working in retail for some of the world’s most famous museums and galleries, Rebecca will share her top ten tips for impactful visual merchandising which can be replicated on a shoestring budget.

There will also be three panel discussions on the topics of using social media effectively, getting the media on your side, and the rise of personalised shopping.

For the full ShopTalk line-up visit

To register for a free trade ticket to Pulse, visit


German glass manufacturer Ritzenhoff is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. To commemorate this milestone, the brand will present new four glass collections at Pulse called The Next 25 Years (N25Y): Gin & Tonic, Champagne, Beer and Milk. The collections are available in the UK via distributor White Brand Agency

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