More than 29,000 visitors attended Autumn Fair International, which took place at The NEC in Birmingham from September 7-10.
Show organiser i2i Events Group said the figure represented a rise in footfall compared with Autumn Fair 2013, as more visitors opted to attend on multiple days.
The number of international buyers increased too. In total, retailers from 84 countries turned out to see 60,000 new product launches from 1,400 suppliers across 12 different market sectors – with 400 companies exhibiting for the first time this year.
The show was visited by buyers from retailers across the housewares industry including Fortnum & Mason, Liberty, John Lewis, Selfridges, Harrods, Laura Ashley, Homebase, Heal’s, Haskins, Sainsbury’s, Haskins, Tesco and Fenwick.
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy, chose to launch its new e-exporting programme at the exhibition. Minister of State for Trade & Investment Lord Livingston gave a presentation on the programme and Dan Wagner, ceo and founder of mobile payments company Powa Technologies, shared his perspective on how technology has developed to help retailers. Lord Livingston commented: “The UK leads the world in cross-border online sales, but there is still much more we can do to help British business seize this huge opportunity with forecasts of three billion online consumers in just three years.”
During the show, a panel of independent retailers from The Cookshop and Housewares Association (CHA) chose awarded prizes in the CHA @ Autumn Fair Awards ceremony. Pinny Pockets won the Best Product accolade for its apron which incorporates a pair of oven gloves. Wild & Wolf won Best New Product for its Mr Men mugs, and Redmond won Most Innovative Product for its Multi Cooker, while the Best Packaging Award went to Artscape.
Speaking at the close of the show, portfolio director Nick Davison commented: “I’m proud to have led a strong edition of Autumn Fair International, which has never been more relevant to the evolving retail industry. I’d like to thank all the fantastic suppliers and visiting retailers for supporting the show, which has an unrivalled reputation as the seasonal exhibition of choice for the UK market.”
Autumn Fair International 2015 will take place from September 6-9 at The NEC in Birmingham.