Home, gift and fashion buying showcase Autumn Fair closed on 6th September, after four days of hosting over 500 exhibitors and their new products.
Thousands of retailers – including Sainsbury’s, Next, Dunelm, Fenwick, M&S, Tesco, British Garden Centres and Cotswold Living – attended the NEC Birmingham from 3rd–6th September with many enjoying special features including the New Product Showcase and Gift Of The Year Showcase, as well as an insightful content programme on the Inspiring Retail Stage & Moda Catwalk.
Daniel Mayhew, event director, Spring & Autumn Fair, says: “Both the Gift Of The Year Showcase and New Product Showcase displayed some of the best products in show, and buyers made a beeline for Hall 6 to discover the hottest designs for the season ahead. We really enjoyed creating a dedicated space to champion our Autumn Fair newcomers, and love to see how much our visitors enjoy these and the stimulating content we offer on the Inspiring Retail Stage & Moda Catwalk. Thank you to everyone who has attended and taken part in the show.”
Despite the show's business-matching platform Connect suffering teething problems (see related), visitor feedback highlighted the newness, discovery, variety, atmosphere and convenience on offer.
Helen Whitehouse from Aurora Homeware, Walsall, said: "This show's been really informative, we've built a few networks here already. There are a few stands that we already work with but we still go to visit them because there's nothing like seeing a product in front of you so you can really get a feel of it.”
Ann Dicken from At Home Furnishings, Stockton-on-Tees, commented: “I've been coming to this show for about 20 years, this year is good, we've seen some new suppliers. This fair is great, it's big so you can walk around a few times and still find hidden gems. It's my favourite show, it's less stressful compared to the other shows I attend.”
Mark Warr from Bumble Living, Monmouth, said: “The show is good, there are some interesting things here. There are some nice smaller brands exhibiting, it's nice to see something a little bit unusual. We are out looking for something a little bit different to what we are currently doing. The New Product Showcase is handy and The Gift Of The Year helps direct us where to go.”
Laura Wright from Flutter Home & Gift, Derby, loved the variety, and stated: “There's loads here, such a variety. It's really great to be here. I'm having a little pit stop to gather my thoughts as to what I have seen. I have a list of existing suppliers I want to go and see and I'm also trying to find new ones. I have a list of new ones I have found today.”
Marianne Lindsay from Wilkies Trading, Scotland, noted: “It is great to see everything under one roof. There is a good assortment of brands and categories, it works really well for us. It's nice to see suppliers you have, especially being in Scotland with no showrooms up there. It's good to pick up some newness and excitement. When you walk around the trends start to show, and you don't see that if you don't visit trade shows. I love the New Product Showcase.”
Spring Fair will take place on the 4-7th February 2024.