Five years in, The AIS Furniture Show continues to develop, supporting the independent furniture retail community by offering a constructive, friendly buying environment. In early 2017 the AIS buying group will again welcome members and non-members to the show, initially with a two-day members-only event before opening to the general trade for the final two days.
Overlapping the start of the January Furniture Show at the nearby NEC, The AIS Furniture Show promises a valuable detour, giving buyers a further reason to visit Birmingham in January.
The two-day general trade event offers buyers a refined choice of furniture in an intimate, business-focused environment, presenting the latest offers from selected suppliers from the AIS portfolio.
Held at Cranmore Park, the group’s own exhibition centre, the show offers free on-site parking, complimentary refreshments and catering facilities. With a less hectic environment than other shows, buyers will find time to discuss ranges and plan their buying strategies.
AIS merchandise director – home, Peter Mallinson, explains: “We’re not marketing it as an alternative show to the NEC – it is simply meant to help our preferred suppliers maximise the number of retailers they see, and to give our members first sight of ranges they can access, 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.”
Additionally, Peter believes that retailers, as well as manufacturers, will favour the size of the show. “We will be presenting a range of well-known brands including Himolla, Venjakob and Habufa,” he says, “as well some exciting AIS exclusives from leading brands such as Alstons, Parker Knoll, Duresta and G Plan. These will be accompanied by other established brands such as Chateau d’Ax, HTL and Primavera.
“The AIS show is also hosting a number of suppliers who will only be exhibiting at Cranmore Park this year. What buyers will find when they visit Cranmore Park is a good mix of contemporary, transitional and traditional product ranges.”
Organiser AIS is the leading independent buying group for home and fashion in the UK and the ROI. It has more than 250 retail members and an overall buying throughput of around £500m.
AIS owns well-known British brands Stag and Ducal, and will be presenting new ranges from both exclusively to AIS members. Any buyers interested in gaining access to these and other exclusive member-only products should consider joining AIS – according to Peter, this show provides a great opportunity to see a measure of the value of being an AIS member, and the furniture team would be delighted to meet interested parties.
Cranmore Park can be found just off the M42 within a few minutes of Birmingham International rail and air links and the NEC. Such ease of access makes The AIS Furniture Show a suitable way to start or end the buying day.