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SHOW REVIEW: SPRING FAIR FEATURE


SPRING FAIR 2019 CHAMPIONS SUSTAINABILITY


Over 2,000 exhibitors showcased its stands at Spring Fair at Birmingham’s NEC this year, built relationships and signed deals with retails biggest players at Spring Fair 2019, as the industry continues to push to defy expectations. DIY Week reports.


O


ver 600 new exhibitors showcased their ranges to top buyers and retail powerhouses, such as Amazon, John


Lewis and Robert Dyas, as well as representatives from garden centres, summer festivals and public events, at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) last month, for the annual Spring Fair show. Spring & Autumn Fair managing


director Julie Driscoll said: “In spite of a mixed Christmas trading period and continued Brexit uncertainty, Spring Fair 2019 has been an immense success. We’ve enabled more connections, more sales and helped forge deeper business relationships across our sectors. We’ve brought together thousands of buyers and exhibitors to prove that retail is indeed resilient, prepared and well-equipped in the face of the year ahead.” Although the DIY section of the show had a smaller offering than usual, feedback across the majority of key 2019 sectors was positive, with


20 DIY WEEK 08 MARCH 2019


exhibitors reporting increased interest and strong footfall.


Charles Bentley account manager


Glynn Abbot was delighted with the response to a new eco range the brushware manufacturer launched at the show. “We had a superb reaction to our decorating range last year and it’s snowballed. We gained a number of retail listings in 12 months – one of which is a really credible supplier of DIY. But the main focal point of the show this year is the Marine Conservation sourced range. There is no plastic content and, as a traditional brush retailer, it plays to our strengths. It has been really well received so far. The materials are globally sourced and the look is more traditional, so it is all about quality but it is also about making a statement about the environment.” However DK Tools Ltd head of marketing Ricky Johal felt the DIY section lacked representation from the industry. Despite this, he reported the company had a positive show, helped by its eye-catching stand: “ I was very disappointed to hear that so many


tool manufacturers and suppliers had pulled out of the event this year, as it essentially diluted what I thought was going to be a great destination for DIY and Home Improvement. However and despite the low footfall, the design of our stand gave us the cut-through to land key marketing messages and we generated some very interesting leads as a result.” Toolbank marketing director Simon Bicknell also said of the show: “It did seem quiet at first but was getting busier when I left at lunchtime, which may be understandable on a cold damp February Monday morning. The hardware section seemed smaller than the previous year.


It may be


time for a slightly different approach and shorten the event to just two or three days which would be more manageable for potential exhibitors.”


Glee at Spring Fair Family-owned garden furniture specialist, Riverco Trading, had a particularly good show. Director Peter Wootton said: “The quality of leads has been exceptional, orders on


the stand have been exceptional and recruitment of sales agents has been exceptional.” Speaking on day three of the show,


where Riverco Trading unveiled its new RSPB garden furniture range, designed and manufactured exclusively under licence to the wildlife charity, Mr Wootton added: “We got everything we hoped for – and more. I feel very positive about how the show has gone. I never put targets on shows, but we received quality leads and the whole event exceeded our expectations.” Mr Wootton also said he was “pretty ecstatic” with the reception to the firm’s new wood treatment product, Frogsuit. Woodlodge, supplier of pots, containers,


furniture and garden


ornaments, said Glee at Spring Fair had helped to generate leads in retail sectors that did not usually have a presence at Glee in September. Sales manager, Ian Flounders, explained: “It has been an absolutely fantastic show. We met with lots of companies that we wouldn’t normally see at


www.diyweek.net


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