Eagerly anticipated by many in the independent furniture sector, the AIS Furniture Show is again set to take over Solihull’s Cranmore Park, offering the group’s members and the wider trade an opportunity to source new ranges …

Seven years since its inception, the event continues to develop and support the independent retail sector by welcoming buyers from across the UK and Ireland to experience an intimate and professional buyer-focused show. 

Running concurrently with the start of the January Furniture Show at the nearby NEC, the AIS Furniture Show gives buyers another reason to visit Birmingham during January, as the proximity of Cranmore Park in Solihull to the NEC makes it easy to visit both. 

Show organiser, Peter Mallinson, merchandise director of AIS’ Home division, says: “All the suppliers exhibiting, whether they are new to the show or have exhibited previously, will be launching new product at the show. 

“We have some exciting new suppliers of upholstery including Koinor from Germany and Jones & Co from Lithuania. Also exhibiting is Christian Lemieux, a new cabinet supplier to the UK. There will be some super new ranges from established upholstery favourites including Himolla, Bardi Spa and Premier, as well as HTL and Primevera.  

“In addition to AIS-exclusive ranges from Parker Knoll, G Plan and Duresta under the Ducal and Stag brands, there will also be some excellent new product from Disselkamp, Venjakob, MWA and Nathan, to name but a few!”

The show gives the buying group the opportunity to show alternative fabrics, leathers and finishes on its exclusive furniture lines. “Since joining AIS, one of the areas that has given me the greatest pleasure has been the success of developing exclusive ranges from established brands such as Parker Knoll and G Plan, giving members not just bestselling product but, more importantly, enhanced margin opportunity,” comments Peter. 

This strategy has been replicated on cabinet furniture, with ranges now being developed specifically under the Stag and Ducal brands which are available exclusively to AIS members. The buying group believes that brands are key to the marketing mix for today’s independent retailer, as they add credibility to an offer and help drive footfall. 

The other area that AIS has developed is creation of its five key looks – Classic, Boutique, Scandi, Industrial and Country. These looks have been developed closely with furniture suppliers, and informed by merchandise sourced from key accessory and lighting suppliers, thereby creating comprehensive stories that offer members extra leverage against their competitors. 

Anybody interested in joining AIS should take the opportunity to talk with one of the selectors or directors in attendance at the show. Cranmore Park can be found just off the M42, within a few minutes of Birmingham International rail and air links and the NEC, making it the ideal place to start or end the day, states AIS.

Admission is free, but is reserved for independent retailers only. Complimentary onsite parking, exhibition guides, lunch and refreshments are also offered – prospective visitors can register online via the AIS Furniture Show website.

The show is open to AIS members only on 18th and 19th January, but is open to the wider independent retail trade from 20th-22nd January, 2019.