The organisers of Pulse, the London summer trade show for gifts and interiors, said the event drew an ‘impressive calibre of buyers’.
Visitor figures to the exhibition, which took place from May 12 to May 14 at Earls Court, demonstrated “a marginal decrease of 4%, which is indicative of the current market conditions and a sign of cautious retailers after a tough April following an early Easter,” said organiser Clarion Events. But international buyer numbers were up by 33%, “demonstrating that overseas trading is still strong”.
UK buyers included representatives from Harrods, Selfridges, House of Fraser, Debenhams, Fenwick, Bentalls, Heals, John Lewis, JOY, Scribbler, Ted Baker, Amazon, Topshop, Achica, Le Bon Marche, Urban Outfitters, Oliver Bonas, Paperchase, Hoopers and Jarrolds.
Pulse show director Rai Jill said: “The quality of buyers in attendance – in particular, the volume of international visitors – reaffirms Pulse as the destination to spot upcoming trends, undiscovered design talent and stylish, ready-to-retail gift, homeware, fashion, greetings and stationery products.
“Whilst the tough economic climate has clearly impacted upon the independent retail trade, the high calibre of buyers that attended Pulse highlights that spotting new trends and new designers is more important than ever.
“I’m delighted that the new dateline has been so well received by the market, and look forward to utilising the same timing in 2014 to create an even more successful event, that strengthens our position as the leading commercial and conceptual design-led retail show.”
Next year’s Pulse will occupy Earls Court from May 11 to May 14.
The Pulse Awards were held on the opening day of the show, with a strong line-up of judges. Each winner, be it a company or product, was classified ‘as one to watch’ over the coming months.
Judges included: Ailsa Forbes, Retail Consultant for Grace & Flava for Best New Gift Product (Winner: OMY Design & Play); Katrina Burroughs, Journalist for The Sunday Times for Best New Home Product (Annette Bugansky Design); Rheanna Lingham, owner of Luna & Curious for Best Fashion Product (Betty Brice); Gemma Fabbri & Aey Aspdin from FAO for Best New Launchpad Product (Sabina Savage); Katie Treggiden, founder of Confessions of a Design Geek for Best New Launchpad Exhibitor (Joanna Corney); Ian Rudge, Development Director of Clarion Events for Best Dressed Stand under 24sq m (Undercover) and for Best Dressed Stand over 24sq m (La Cerise Sure Le Gateau).