Associated Independent Stores (AIS) is gearing up to host its annual furniture show this month. Open to the whole trade, the event will feature a myriad of leading brands exclusively exhibiting at the show, taking place at Cranmore Park, Solihull, from 18th-22nd January.

For the second year running, The Furniture Show (AIS) is opening its doors to all those working in the furniture industry – not just its members – making it a must-visit for those looking to source new product for the year ahead. Still, AIS members will receive the first opportunity to view new products on show, as for the first two days – 18-19th January – the show will be exclusive to AIS members.

Peter Mallison, AIS merchandise director, explains: “In 2012, we opened our doors at Cranmore Park for the first time to non-members, and extended our normal event by three days, to allow the whole furniture trade to visit. Those additional days coincided with Interiors, and it proved to be a great success, especially as it gave buyers another reason to visit Birmingham during that time, given the close proximity of the AIS show to the NEC.”

However, Peter is adamant that The Furniture Show (AIS) is not in competition with the Interiors UK trade show that is taking place from 20th-23rd January at the NEC, Birmingham.

“We’re not marketing it as an alternative show to the NEC,” he says. “It is simply meant to help our preferred suppliers maximise the number of retailers they see, so it makes sense to hold it at the same time.

“Being so close to the NEC also makes it very easy for buyers to visit both, and, of course, those companies exhibiting at our show can only be seen here at The Furniture Show at Cranmore Park.”

Additionally, Peter believes that retailers, as well as manufacturers, will favour the size of the show. “We will be presenting different manufacturers in a different environment, where those exhibiting and buying will enjoy a more intimate and relaxed buying atmosphere,” he explains.

Once again, the exhibition will take place over the whole of the extended ground floor AIS showroom areas,  and the show has already attracted a long list of quality exhibitors – many of whom are returning following the success of the previous event.

A selection of confirmed exhibitors includes: Tetrad, Himolla, Corndell, Cintique, Nathan, Habufa, Actona and Whitemeadow, as well as other established names, such as Carlton, Quaratta Qualita, MTE, Decoro and Wade Upholstery.

The Furniture Show (AIS) will be open from 18th January, with general trade visitors welcomed to visit from 20th January onwards. Cranmore Park can be reached via the M42, and is within a few minutes of Birmingham International rail and air links and the NEC. Free parking is available.