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Read the July/August issue of Progressive Housewares now

The latest issue of Progressive Housewares is available to read online now.

Since our last issue, many of us have attended the Exclusively Housewares show – and what a show it was. Exhibition space sold out earlier than ever before and attendance levels were up on last year, and even on pre-Covid levels in 2019. And it’s easy to see why.

Exclusively was a triumph for organisers, BHETA, and bought together all of the key suppliers and buyers from across the UK – a truly not-to-be-missed event for the housewares sector. Fantastic organisation, great content, and of course, a friendly, welcoming and fun atmosphere that I’ve quickly realised is the norm for the housewares industry.

As well as a plethora of innovative new products and brands, we were graced with the presence of Dame Mary Berry herself, who was launching her latest line on the Captivate Brands stand, and was just as delightful in the flesh as she comes across on TV, in case you were wondering. Other celebrities at the show included TV chef, Jeremy Pang, This Morning’s Queen of Clean, Lynsey Crombie, designer Yvonne Ellen and author and food blogger Jane Dunn of Jane’s Patisserie.

Kind donations to the industry charity, The Rainy Day Fund, at the end of the show totalled £13,000, proving again what wonderful people you all are. Exhibitors’ feedback has been overwhelmingly positive too, as you’ll see in this issue’s review, and the show dates are already set for next year, so get them in your diary early – 11 and 12 June, 2024 at the Business Design Centre, Islington.

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This positivity extends outside the walls of the exhibition centre as it’s been encouraging to see some strong results coming through over recent weeks for both retailers and suppliers throughout the industry, suggesting that the economic climate is slowly improving again after a shaky start to the year. Next has upgraded its profit forecast following strong sales for the beginning of Q2; Ultimate Products’ end-of-year debt is expected to be significantly better than current market expectations; and Dunelm has finished off FY23 with strong volume and sales growth.

Elsewhere in this issue, we sat down with some key distributors, agents and commercial managers, to chat about the highs and lows of their businesses, the factors for successful relationships with brands and more. Meanwhile, our market focuses look at the enduring success of bakeware, and the current trends in licensed products.

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As I write this, the summer holidays are in full swing, so I’m hoping for a little more sunshine and hopefully a bit of a break for all. Enjoy the summer, whatever the weather might bring, and we’ll see you on the other side, as we ready for the Excellence in Housewares awards.

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