The Exclusively shows closed last month with the highest number of exhibitor stand re-bookings to date already in place.
The two co-located shows, Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical, which took place at the Business Design Centre in London from June 14-15, attracted 120 and 24 exhibitors respectively.
Organiser Brooke House Exhibitions (BHE) said it was ‘delighted with this year’s positive exhibitor response’.
Show director Simon Boyd commented: “Exhibitors were very pleased with who they saw and talked to at the shows this year.
“Many also got involved with our new ‘On Trend’ initiatives, which, as we hoped, have helped to open up new conversations across the sector”.
The ‘On Trend’ initiative, sponsored by the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA), included a free guided Trend Tours for visitors; an ‘On Trend’ display area, including ideas for Christmas merchandising; and ‘On Trend’ logos and signage which exhibitors displayed alongside relevant products.
BHE chairman and BHETA housewares director Will Jones added: “The feedback I’ve received so far from exhibitors has been generally positive and it’s pleasing to note that a number of meetings took place as a direct result of buyers’ interest in products highlighted by the ‘On Trend’ initiatives and our international visitor focus.”
Housewares and electrical buyers from department store chains, grocers, hardware stores and major high street retailers were well represented.
Big names included John Lewis, Morrisons, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Robert Dyas, Tesco, Argos, HomeSense, Aldi, Fenwick, Costco, Lakeland, Dunelm, Steamer Trading Cookshop, Sainsbury’s, TJX Europe, Wilko, Asda, Home Hardware and Marks & Spencer.
In addition, online and TV retailers Wayfair, Ideal Shopping, QVC, Ocado, Groupon, Scotts of Stow, Coopers of Stortford and Amazon attended too.
Following collaboration with the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), there were also several garden centre buyers at the shows including Scotsdale Nursery & Garden Centre, Alton Garden Centre, Millbrook Garden Company, Wyevale Garden Centres, Hillview Garden Centres, Frosts, Bents Garden & Home, Otter Nurseries and Blue Diamond. BHE said this is a market sector that the shows will continue to target.
On the independent retailers’ front, well-established names such as FTB Lawson, Oldrids, Upstairs Downstairs, Rossiters of Bath, Kitchen Kapers, Dinghams, Colanders, Kitchenmonger, Barnitts, Hart & Sons, Marchmont Hardware, Hoopers and Trevor Mottram were all present. However, the shows noted a downturn in the number of cookshops and smaller independent stores visiting this year.
Will said: “The decline in independent numbers reflects the current challenges faced by the market. But what was encouraging is that those independents that recognise the need to adapt their offer were very much in attendance.”
Now in its second year, Exclusively Electrical has built up the number of the electrical buyers who now attend the shows alongside their housewares and dining buyer colleagues.
This sister event, which is a showcase for SDA (small domestic appliances) and SKA (small kitchen appliances), attracted larger electrical specialists such as Appliances Online, Dixon Stores Group, Appliance City, Euronics, Shop Direct and key independents including Avensys and Fairway Electrical.
Simon said: “We will continue to work closely with Sirius [a buying group of 130 members with a combined total of over 200 outlets] and Retra [a trade association for independent electrical retailers and servicing organisations] to spread the word about this specialist part of the Exclusively offer.
“We know that the electrical buyers from our established visitors are attending the show but we want to extend the reach of Exclusively Electrical further to electrical specialists too – even if they don’t sell SDA/SKA yet! Exclusively Electrical is the perfect place to review what’s available and work with the major brands.”
International retailers that travelled to the shows this year included El Corte Ingles, Monoprix, Briscapo, Westwing and Gadgets Cuina.
An international buyers’ programme invites 20-30 key retail companies, selected by exhibitors, every year. In addition, buyers from Denmark, Lithuania, Norway, Spain, Greece, France, Italy, Estonia and Germany made their own way to the UK to attend.
“As specialist shows, our visitor database – like our exhibitor line-up – reflects the industry and its current state quite closely,” concluded Simon.
“It’s important to us that we assist our exhibitors by providing access and introductions to all the channels to market – which includes searching out the new, as well as maintaining links with established retailers.
“Following its positive reception this year, we will continue to develop and feed in ‘On Trend’ information to our exhibitors during the year so they can incorporate it into their new product development and presentation to retailers.”
The 2017 shows will run on Tuesday, June 13 and Wednesday, June 14 at the Business Design Centre in London.