This year’s Spring Fair International welcomed over 68,000 visitors, including more than 5000 international buyers looking to export British goods abroad. With overall visitor numbers up 6% on last year (ABC-audited), organiser i2i Events is pleased with the performance of perhaps Europe’s largest presentation of trend-driven gift products.
Around 300,000 new launches were unveiled by 3000 exhibitors operating across 13 market sectors. Buyers attended from leading independent retailers, and the UK’s major stores, such as Selfridges, House of Fraser, John Lewis, Hamleys, Harrods, Liberty, Tesco and Marks & Spencer, were well represented.
The signs of economic recovery were indicated by the Spring Fair Retail Barometer, the show’s own major industry survey, which revealed that 82% of retailers are forecasting growth in 2013, as well as an improvement in consumer confidence. Over £2b of business is forecast to be generated by the companies that participated.
“We hope that the optimism of the sector observed at Spring Fair is a true reflection of the performance of the high street over the year to come”
The show offered buyers an extensive content programme across eight seminar theatres, demo areas and full-scale catwalks. At the show, household names Kirstie Allsopp, Sophie Conran, Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen and Delia Smith rubbed shoulders with Shadow Small Business Minister, Toby Perkins MP, trend experts from WGSN, Pantone and Trend Bible.
The e-commerce theatre proved popular among inquisitive retailers, who discovered how to build online start-ups, engage multichannel retailing and develop e-commerce strategies.
Sarah Mclaughlin, portfolio director of Spring Fair International, says: “We are delighted that so many retailers attended this year’s Spring Fair and that they were placing such healthy orders with exhibitors. There was a real emphasis on innovation and creativity throughout the show, including the new Design Lab area which provided buyers with a new hotbed of creative talent.
“With so many British companies exhibiting, it was fantastic to see the strength of their product, something that was unilaterally praised by the buyers in attendance from across the globe. We hope that the optimism of the sector observed at Spring Fair is a true reflection of the performance of the high street over the year to come.”
The next edition of Spring Fair International will take place from 2nd-6th February 2014.