Autumn Fair organiser i2i Events Group said the show closed its doors on a successful event last week.
Held from Sunday September 4 to Wednesday September 7 at the NEC in Birmingham, the gift and home trade show attracted thousands of visitors who viewed collections from more than 1,300 exhibitors across housewares, home décor, lighting, gadgets, giftware and accessories.
The list of attendees included key decision-makers from Selfridges, John Lewis, Tesco, Wayfair, notonthehighstreet.com, Fishpools, House of Cards, Indigo Tree and Something Special. Lauren Blake, buyer at Wayfair, said: “Autumn Fair is always a great show; the offering here is good for us and we come specifically to find new products.”
Autumn Fair also saw Le Creuset make its debut alongside Villeroy & Boch and The DRH Collection, among others, in a new show area called ‘the bira Contemporary Collective’: a joint initiative between trade associations bira (British Independent Retailers Association) and BHETA (British Home Enhancement Trade Association).
Michael Faulkner, national account manager of Le Creuset, said: “The quantity and quality of new accounts opened has far exceeded our expectations, with the first order written within 30 minutes of the show opening. We gained distribution across the whole of the UK and Ireland, meeting our objectives to open accounts in the right gift stores and garden centres.”
The exhibitors were accompanied by a programme of seminars, panel discussions and Q&A sessions, representing all areas of the retail industry.
Highlights included a keynote delivery from globally-recognised entrepreneur Jo Malone MBE, who shared retail advice and tips based on her five key principles of inspiration, innovation, integrity, ignition and instinct.
Other speakers across the four days included experts from Facebook, Twitter, One World Trading Company and The Great Gift Company, as well as the 2015 winner of the BBC’s ‘Great Interior Design Challenge’ Martin Holland.
One-to-one sessions also took place as part of an all-new Meet the Experts feature, offering tailored advice from experts on topics such as social media, accounting and logistics.
Reviewing the proceedings, portfolio director Naomi Barton said: “Autumn Fair continues to grow and is still delivering an unrivalled buying experience through our breadth and depth of product.
“One-third of the show floor this year was made up of brand new exhibitors to the show, and the combination of these new brands – together with returning exhibitors – provided buyers with the largest collective home and gift offering in the Autumn season.”
For further highlights from the 2016 event, visit www.autumnfair.com
Globally-recognised entrepreneur Jo Malone MBE gave a keynote presentation to a packed audience