“Buyers will see newness at Autumn Fair like never before,” states Julie Driscoll, managing director, Retail & Fashion at Hyve Group (organiser of Autumn and Spring Fair), talking to HousewaresNews.net. Exhibitors across home, gift and lifestyle sectors are planning to reveal a plethora of new products at the show, which returns to the NEC Birmingham from September 5-8.
With on-site hotels now sold out, Julie recognises the huge “pent up demand” for buyers to get back to shows. “To look at, touch and feel products is absolutely critical; exhibitions are like the Regent Street store, where people flock to see top brands.” She also highlights: “Autumn Fair is a badge of quality and honour – exhibiting will be a sign of confidence that provides reassurance to retailers.”
Knowing that buyers may be pressed for time, Autumn Fair has launched Curated Meetings – a new matchmaking service or “personal shopper” for pre-qualified buyers and quality brands, with eager retailers already signed up. Julie explains: “For example, if a buyer is looking for sustainable tableware, we can find a list of potential brands.” However, the team is also aware that many retailers, including lifestyle stores and garden centres (“department stores of tomorrow”) will ensure they take the time to walk every aisle in a quest to diversify their product offering.
Recognising that the rise of localism is prompting many cookshops and housewares stockists to reinvent their stores to ensure they have “a unique DNA”, Julie has this message for retailers: “If you want to refuel your stores, Autumn Fair will have more unique and exclusive products than any other show.” The show will feature a sustainable product trail, addressing demands to know the provenance of products.
Exhibitors in the Home, Living and Décor, The Summerhouse and Everyday sectors at Autumn Fair include: Grunwerg, Sophie Allport, Quail Egg, Rex London, T&G, David Mason Design, Globe Enterprise, EPE International and RKW.
Julie emphasises that Hyve Group has been at the forefront of Covid -safe event protocols, working closely with industry association, AEO (Association of Event Organisers) to establish the guidance which has been approved by the UK government. The full Safe and Secure Guidelines can be viewed at www.autumnfair.com/safe-secure with a dedicated section for exhibitors at www.autumnfair.com/safe-secure/guidelines-for- exhibitors.
Meanwhile, Autumn and Spring Fair reports a strong start for its Online Marketplace, with more suppliers due to come on board this month in various product sectors including Kitchen.
Top: Buyers are eager to be walking the aisles at Autumn Fair in September.