Winners of the inaugural Spring Fair Awards will be announced on Monday February 2 at the show, which opens its doors at the NEC, Birmingham, the previous day.
The awards incorporate six product and four retailer categories: Kitchen and Dining Product of the Year, sponsored by The Cookshop & Housewares Association; Value Range of the Year; Home Product of the Year; Greetings Product of the Year; Jewellery Product of the Year; Product of the Year; Buying Team of the Year; Emerging Retailer of the Year; Etailer of the Year and Independent Home & Gift Store of the Year.
Details of all the finalists will be revealed at a special showcase in the Piazza of the NEC, to highlight their achievements and provide all involved with promotional opportunities.
Amongst those on the judging panel were home interiors guru Linda Barker; celebrity kitchenware specialist Sophie Conran and Fiona Webb, head buyer for Cargo Home Shop.
Also on the panel, brand consultant Fiona Strang commented: “What this gives me is hope! There’s so much doom and gloom about nowadays, all kinds of bad news about the economic climate and the independent retail trade. In this age of mass generalisation and polarisation of the market it’s hard enough to survive as a multiple. The independent retailers who are out there fighting their corner have to be commended.”