The Exclusively Show 2021 (August 24-25 Business Design Centre, Islington) exceeded the highest expectations of the organising team and exhibitors in terms of both the quality and quantity of attendees. Many exhibitors were overwhelmed by the quality of UK visitors which was evident across retailer and media visitors with many first-time attendees.
Marketing manager, Steve Richardson from show organiser BHETA comments: “I’m still on a high after all the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the exhibitors at the Exclusively Show, and the fabulous visitor support.”
Over the two days of the Show, there were more people present than in 2019 creating a buzz and contributing to an atmosphere that was charged with positivity. Will Jones, chief operating officer at BHETA and chair of the show acknowledges that exhibitors did bring more people than normal as they saw the event as an opportunity to get the industry back together after lockdown. Visitor numbers were slightly down compared to 2019, as expected due to the decision not to invite overseas buyers or overseas media as a Covid-19 precaution, combined with the show’s postponement to peak holiday season.
Typical feedback from the many independent specialists includes that of Lisa Taylor of Brambles cookshop, who states: “The show was really worthwhile and extremely well organised”. The Bira voucher was a popular incentive, providing considerable savings for cookshop members of the trade association.
A fantastic turnout of multiples included strong support from supermarkets: Aldi, Asda, Iceland, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. Online and mail order buyers included Amazon, eBay, Groupon, MADE.com, Ocado, The Hut Group, The Very Group, La Redoute and Studio Retail. Housewares and homewares chains were represented by Dunelm, Lakeland, Leekes, ProCook, Furniture World, Next and Robert Dyas.
Meanwhile department store attendees included: Beales, Dawsons, Harrods, Fenwick, Hoopers, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Selfridges, and Ulster Stores. Garden centresmultiples saw attendance from Bents, Blue Diamond Group and Dobbies. Value-led buyers visitors came from from B&M, Costco, Home Bargains (TJ Morris), Matalan and The Original Factory Shop, while DIY retailer buyers included B&Q, Home Hardware and Wickes and DSG Currys visited from the electricals sector.
The Brand Showcase – a curated edit of the show for media – proved immensely popular as did the Trends area in which trend forecaster, Scarlet Opus both illustrated and talked about the key trends from now through Christmas 2021 and over the next two to three years, using exhibitor products as examples of the key themes which will influence both buyers and media. Scarlet Opus also took key buyers on trends tours of the show, tying in trends with specific ‘must-have’ product listings.
The Brand Showcase attracted both traditional consumer and trade media including as well as an enthusiastic host of well-established consumer influencers. Media visitors included This Morning, Olive and BBC Good Food as well as many other mainstream consumer titles. From the influencer community, ‘cleanfluencers’ brought great energy to proceedings with names like Lyndsey Queen of Clean, Crazycleaningcrawford, mancleany, Officially Hinched, Cleanigram, MrsHinchHome, CleaningwithLuicy and many more all in attendance.
One show highlight was a new product created by A365 – a concept saucepan for 2022 blending, stainless steel with brass handle. Its unique in that the touch points are made of brass and therefore maximises the anti-microbial properties of copper and its alloys.
Tabletop made a strong return to the show, with popular new exhibitors including Katie Alice, Pure Tableware and Lazarro. Nina Tawill from Katie Alice said, “We‘ve had an amazing show and we’ve been really happy to see some familiar faces again, and to meet some new faces. We’re extremely happy with how the show has gone.”
Meanwhile the team at RKW “appreciated the warm welcome back to Exclusively. The turnout of national accounts and independents was incredible to see, allowing the team to catch up with our valued customers in person and introduce our incredible brand portfolio to new faces. The show has been a much-needed return to business normality for all of us.”
Enthusiastic visitors included John Lewis Partnership’s Elaine Hooper who commented: “Fantastic that Exclusively is back – a brilliant show and always worth a visit. I would encourage anyone that hasn’t been to make sure they attend the next one!”
Steve Richardson added: “Exclusively has always been must-see event in the home enhancement industry – and so the 2021 show proved. With numbers of exhibitors and visitors this high, we can honestly say that from a commercial point of view, it certainly felt that it was back to business as usual. With over 130 companies and 200 brand names exhibiting, as other features such as the Trend Tours and Talks with Scarlet Opus sold out, the housewares, SDA and gift sectors certainly rose to the occasion.”
Top: A view of Exclusively 2021.