Following a successful debut at the Autumn Fair which closed today (Wednesday September 7), trade associations bira and BHETA have announced plans to continue their joint initiative – ‘the bira Contemporary Collective’ – at future shows.
During the four-day show, which took place at the NEC in Birmingham, Bira (British Independent Retail Association) hosted a new area within the Contemporary Gift & Home section called ‘The bira Contemporary Collective’, where some of its supplier members showcased their collection and hosted customers in the ‘Contemporary Cafe’. BHETA (The British Home Enhancement Trade Association) members were also present in the area.
Bira marketing & membership director Sarah Golden said: “Our first year in a new guise as ‘The bira Contemporary Collective’ and Cafe has proved successful in connecting suppliers with retailers at Autumn Fair in an easy, welcoming format.
“We’re looking forward to continuing the work with BHETA and Autumn Fair in evolving the feature to keep pace with our independent retail buyers’ needs.”
BHETA housewares executive director Will Jones added: “This is a joint initiative that the industry has recognised and is relevant for the market at this moment in time.
“From talking to BHETA members at the Autumn Fair, they have been pleased by the variety of visitors to the show and the orders they have written with new customers.”
Exhibitors within this year’s inaugural ‘bira Contemporary Collective’ included Le Creuset, Villeroy & Boch, The DRH Collection, Churchill China and PHA KitchEssentials,
The Birmingham-based associations were in good company on the show floor yesterday when the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Carl Rice, paid a visit to the NEC. He spent time hearing more about the partnership, and met with exhibitors and visitors.
He said: “I’m amazed at the breadth of goods on display. The Autumn Fair is a great place for retailers to see the very best of what the world of home and gift has to offer.”
According to show organiser i2i Events Group, the event attracted more than 27,000 visitors, 94% of which have purchasing authority or influence on purchasing decisions.
The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Carl Rice paid a visit to the Le Creuset stand in ‘the bira Contemporary Collective’