Retailers with a combined spending power of £12 billion heralded a boon of record-breaking transactions for many exhibitors at Spring Fair International, the biggest home and gift event in the buying calendar.
It is estimated that around £2 billion of orders will be placed by buyers as a direct result of their attendance at the show, which took place on February 7 – 11 at the NEC Birmingham.
At the close of the show, visitor numbers totalled 71,239*, outstripping the previous two years’ attendance figures. Not since 2007 have so many retailers flocked to Spring Fair. International visitors also increased by 8 per cent to over 5,600* compared with last year’s event. More than 20,000 jewellery buyers attended The Jewellery Show (Halls 17 & 18) alone.
Over the five days, buyers keen to restock for 2010 visited the show’s 2,800 exhibitors, who launched more than 270,000 new products between them. Some suppliers reported their best-ever trade show.
Show organiser Emap Connect invested some £2 million in the production of Spring Fair International and The Jewellery Show, which was spent on the creation of crowd-pulling new features, customer service initiatives and marketing and PR campaigns. This built on the success of Autumn Fair International 2009, which signalled a retail revival and also saw an increase in visitor numbers from both the UK and overseas.
The managing director of Emap Connect, Louise Young, commented: “Spring Fair International 2010 has been a resounding success. Our feedback indicates that substantial orders have been placed. Retailers are keener than ever to restock and differentiate their offering. The retail industry is one of the UK’s biggest employers and if the high street thrives in 2010 it will help lift the country further out of recession. No one is resting on their laurels now thinking it will be easy, but exhibitors at Spring Fair have provided an outstanding range of products to give retailers the best possible platform for success in the year ahead.”
In attendance at the fair were UK multiples including Amazon, Asda, Beaverbrooks, Bentalls, Clinton Cards, Debenhams, Dunelm, Fenwicks, Harrods, Hobbycraft, John Lewis, Lakeland, Scotts & Co, Sainsbury, Selfridges, Toys ‘R’ Us and WHSmith, who joined product-hungry independent retailers looking for a vital competitive edge.
The Creative Britain logo was revived to highlight companies with products designed in the UK and available for export.
For the first time, Emap Connect flew 75 hand-picked international buyers to the show, rightly believing that well-designed British products would even greater interest than usual because of favourable exchange rates.
The 2010 fair included the unveiling of a revamped and re-edited production of The Jewellery Show, the UK’s largest dedicated exhibition for jewellery, which attracted almost 20,000 visitors. Visitors and exhibitors alike welcomed the spectacular launch of the Pandora Catwalk Café, a specialist jewellery catwalk and central café at the heart of The Jewellery Show in Halls 17 and 18, which drew large audiences daily.
Well-known visitors to the show included Birmingham Ladywood MP Clare Short and there were celebrity appearances from Jeff Banks, Kara Tointon, Hairy Bikers, Laurence and Jackie Llewellyn-Bowen, Jody Craddock, Rachel Elmore, Dave Lee Travis, Anton du Beke, Erin Boag, Gino D’Acampo, Rachel and Sophie Conran amongst others.
Spring Fair International 2011 will be held from 6-10 February at the NEC, Birmingham.