florists and wedding planners that visited its stand. Launched on World Cancer Day and with a pledge of at least £20,000, Woodlodge’s Marie Curie range of pots were the best-selling product at the show. Woodlodge says it was “overwhelmed at the support that this range received” and is now looking forward to continuing to promote awareness of, and raise money for, the charity.

Another year for DIY In the DIY and Home Improvement sector of the show, things were a little quieter for some exhibitors. Paint brand Dulux , however, had a good show, with visitors crowding on stand to meet and have their photograph taken with the famous Dulux Dog. Showcasing a number of new products, including its new roller tester pot – which has been shortlisted for the DIY Week Awards – the company had a great position in the DIY section of the exhibition and saw some good footfall, says channel sales manager James Nash.

Mr Nash, who is responsible for independent, wholesaler and garden accounts, added that he had been speaking to customers ahead of the show to encourage them to visit and the move paid off. “We’ve seen more independents here this year than we did last year. We upped communication with the indies to get them to come along. There were people who weren’t going to come along but said ‘ok, we’ll come and have a look’ and it has worked out well.”

Charles Bentley used the show to launch its DIY range and head of business development Nigel Gardiner-Harvey says he is “really pleased with the way it’s gone”. He adds: “We’ve taken loads of

orders! We started quietly with the launch but have been targeting wholesalers and independents.” The brushware company saw a lot of its existing customers at the show but also made new contacts. Wilsons of Colchester found the

DIY area to be quieter and smaller than last year but Nora Dene, who works in sales support, says the

Visitors queued up to have their photograph taken with the Dulux dog

distributor “still had a lot of new contacts and managed to double the number of orders from last year”. Wilsons showcased several of its key brands, including Cape Cod and Glue Dots, which made their debut and “were received really well”, says Ms Dene.

The company also held a prize draw on its stand, which was one by one of its long-standing customers or more than 20 years. Overall, Ms Dene says the show was “very, very successful”, adding, “I’m sure we are going to exhibit again next year.”

9 MARCH 2018 DIY WEEK 29

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