Thousands of retailers flock to Autumn Fair

Thousands of retailers attended last month’s Autumn Fair, where they refreshed their stock from 1,400 UK and international suppliers presenting new ranges at the show, which was held at the NEC in Birmingham from September 6-9.

According to organiser i2i Events Group, an estimated £1.2bn of orders placed as a result. Some 85% of visitors stated that the festive period is the most important trading time, with most claiming it is worth up to 40% of their annual turnover.

The list of attendees included representatives from Tesco, Blue Diamond Group, Toys R Us, Laura Ashley, Card Factory, BHS, Beales, Bentalls, Debenhams, Mothercare, John Lewis, Lakeland, Scribbler and The Entertainer. Thousands of independent retailers and interior designers also came from all around the UK and 124 other countries worldwide.

Over 150,000 new products were launched across the show’s sectors, which included  Contemporary Gift & Home, Children’s Gifts, Toys & Gadgets, Volume Gift & Home, Table & Kitchen, Body & Bath, Retail Shop, Brands of China, The Summerhouse and – new for 2015 – The Light Show.

As well as sourcing new products, many visitors picked up business advice which freely available across four seminar theatres. Key trends for the lifestyle sector were shared each day from presentations given by global trend forecasting agency WGSN and keynote speakers included leading British designers Emma Bridgewater and Abigail Ahern.

Autumn Fair also launched the ‘Wish List’: a website function giving buyers the chance to create a shopping list of their favourite products ahead of attending the event. Billed as a first for trade events in the UK, The Wish List’s debut was hailed as ‘highly successful’ with over 2,000 buyers using the function prior to attending. Buyers can now compile a list of their favourite items throughout the year from a vast database of new products.

Autumn Fair portfolio director Naomi Barton said: “The feedback on this year’s show has been extremely positive and we’re very happy with the result. The majority of exhibitors have done very good business at Autumn Fair and we expect as much as £1.2 billion of orders to be placed by retailers as a result of their attendance here. We would like to thank all our exhibitors and visitors for supporting the show and hope they found their time to be well worthwhile.”

The next Autumn Fair will take place from September 4-7 2016 at the NEC (Volume Hall opens one day early on September 3).

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