The 10th edition of London design-led gift show Pulse, held from June 10-12 in Earls Court, drew an “impressive calibre” of buyers.
Show organsier Clarion Events said visitor figures “demonstrated a marginal decrease of 4% on 2011, which is representative of the current market conditions, and a show date line that fell directly after the Jubilee bank holiday weekend”.
Despite this, VIP visitors rose by 3%, with a larger number of high-profile multiple and department store buyers attending. Big name retailers represented included Anthropologie, Bentalls, Cath Kidston, Debenhams, Fenwick, Fortnum & Mason, Habitat, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Heals, House of Fraser, John Lewis, Liberty, Marks & Spencer,Oliver Bonas, Pedlars, Saatchi Gallery, Selfridges and The Conran Shop.
Pulse also presented a 30% increase on 2011 in new suppliers and designers, throughout the show and in sectors such as Launchpad.
During the show, Pulse keynote speaker Peter Cross, business partner to Mary Portas, conducted a retailer critique session to a packed seminar theatre, giving three independent retailers bespoke advice for their stores.
Visitors also crowded around to see the Mary & House of Fraser selection panel run a mini Dragon’s Den, hosted by Peter. Ten finalists were selected to present their product to the panel in a bid to be stocked in Mary Portas’ House of Fraser concessions throughout the UK. The finalists are: Cole of London, Rosie Wonders, Kabloom, Martha Mitchell Designs, Big Tree Little Tree, Lara Sparks Embroidery, Le Pigeon Voyageur, Nancy, Betty Studio and Rosie Brewer.
The Pulse Awards were held on the opening day of the show. Housewares winners included: Welovekaoru’s Breakfast Collection (Best New Product, Launchpad), Graypants ‘Scraplights’ from Pad Home (Best New Product, Home) and Wild & Wolf (Best-Dressed Stand over 24sq m).
Show director Raj Gill said: “At Pulse 2012, there was positive buzz as superior quality and design was recognised by the thousands of buyers who can’t find this elsewhere. Design shines through in any economic mood and this sector enjoyed good orders, whilst slightly lower footfall from smaller independents showed retail caution.”