This year’s Spring Fair attracted a reported 63,225 visitors, including senior buyers from Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Liberty, Fortnum & Mason, Fenwicks, John Lewis, Heals, Oliver Bonas, Ocado, Steamer Trading Cookshop, Toys R Us, Temptation Gifts and many more, bringing a buying power that runs into billions to 3000 Spring Fair exhibitors across 14 different market sectors.
One of the key developments for 2015 was the unveiling of a transformed Home sector in Hall 1, which proved highly successful for the hundreds of suppliers that showcased their latest home interiors, furniture, lighting and wall-art lines within this section of Spring Fair.
Coach House’s, David Willan says: “Spring Fair is always fabulous but this year it has been exceptional, both for our main stand and the Christmas stand. We’ve seen all our regular customers, lots and lots of new customers, international visitors, you name it – we couldn’t want for more, we’ve seen everyone! The organisation has been brilliant and we couldn’t be more happy. I think the move to Hall 1 has worked really well for this sector and the general consensus among exhibitors is very positive, it’s been one hell of a show!”
The strategic move of Home to the front of the exhibition and the inclusion of both leading British and forward-thinking international brands was instrumental in helping to attract a very high quality of buyer to this rapidly-growing sector of Spring Fair. Companies such as Chic Antique, Authentic Models BV, Light & Living, Du Bout Du Monde, Baroque International, Coach House, Voyage Decoration and Kerry Darlington all helped reorient Spring Fair towards the upper end of the Home market.
Another new development for the 2015 event was the launch of the Retail Shop brand in Hall 4, where exhibitors represented a multitude of products and services that are crucial to multi-channel retailing, including in-store and online solutions, logistics and fulfillment experts, marketing platforms, payment providers and specialists in packaging.
Central to Retail Shop was the e-Commerce seminar theatre, which ran throughout the show with a content schedule that featured Mind Candy and Firebox founder Michael Acton Smith OBE as the keynote speaker.
Another new development for Spring Fair 2015 was the launch of the Spring Fair Buyers Power List Awards, sponsored by major Dutch lifestyle brand Light & Living. The Awards were held on Monday 2nd February from the striking location of the Fashion Accessories Catwalk in Hall 20.
The awards are designed to recognise influential buying teams and individuals across all of the sectors represented at Spring Fair. The winners across the three categories were: Best Independent Retail Buyer or Team: Temptation Gifts; Best Multiple Retailer or Department Store: John Lewis; Power 30 winner: Gillian Leahy, Buying Manager, Ocado.
The Buyers Power List shortlist was compiled and reviewed in the run-up to Spring Fair by an advisory panel of key industry influencers that included The Giftware Association, Bira, Bira direct and BHETA.
The next edition of Spring Fair will take place from 7-11th February 2016, with the Volume Halls opening one day earlier.