Retailers from across the nation were ready to do business yesterday (Sunday September 4) as they gathered at the NEC in Birmingham for the first day of Autumn Fair 2016.
The attendees were joined by more than 1,400 brands, suppliers and retail services.
Commenting on her visitor experience so far, Coralie Keech, owner of Daisy Chain Gift Company – a card and gift store in Stratford-upon-Avon – said: “Each year when I come to the show, I’m looking for the ‘wow’ moment and so far I’ve seen some great new pieces. The Ted Baker collection at Wild & Wolf is so perfect it’s definitely my ‘wow’ moment for today. Hopefully I see some great new things tomorrow too.”
Emphasising the cross-sector buying nature of the show, Gill Hague, director of Season’s Gallery & Gifts – a gift shop and coffee shop in Sheffield – added: “The show is brilliantly edited, which has helped us buy more in one day than we normally would over two days. We have placed several orders across fashion, accessories, handbags, toiletries, gifts and greetings.”
Billed as an inspiring and informative hub for the home, interiors, gift and wider retail industry, Autumn Fair offered a seminar programme throughout the first day to help guide buying decisions for the seasons ahead.
Examples included a ‘Trends Briefing’ by Lisa White of WGSN Lifestyle & Interiors, a ‘Social Media Masterclass for Business’ by Lauren Brown and Peter Andrews of Introtweet, and the Fashion and Accessories Catwalk, which brought to life the WGSN trends for Spring/Summer 2017.
Other events from day one included the launch of the annual Gift of the Year competition from the Giftware Association (GA), along with the unveiling of all new GA branding.
Naomi Barton, portfolio director of the show organiser i2i Events Group, said: “Positive vibes from visitors radiated the floor today, and were echoed by the wide spectrum of exhibitors, including those within the new show area [in Hall 4]: The bira Collective. We look forward to welcoming visitors for the remaining days of Autumn Fair, for what is sure to be a highlight in their buying calendar.”
Autumn Fair runs until 4pm on Wednesday September 7.