Exhibitors at the three-day Manchester Furniture Show (MFS), which ended on 17th July, were reportedly satisfied with sales and the number of quality buyers in attendance.
The addition of MidPoint and its higher-end brands further raised the profile of this year's show, and helped reinforce the importance of the event for buyers seeking new upholstery, cabinet, beds, mattresses and accessories for autumn and Christmas, across the full breadth of market sectors.
The overall attendance figure was resilient, given the current climate, with the show attracting over 5000 visitors - only marginally down on the 2017 edition's attendance, reports organiser Clarion, which attributes the slight drop to the concurrent World Cup Final, the Men’s Wimbledon Final and the hot weather.
MidPoint proved highly successful drawing in buyers from large retail and group stores who had not previously been part of MFS' VIP buyer programme. These included representatives from CFC Interiors, Casey’s Furniture, Home Designs, Julian Foye, Meubles and Cubbin & Bregazzi, which all welcomed the opportunity to see a large variety of products from exclusive brands including Italia Living, Kesterport, Venjakob, Chelsom and Sits, which had not exhibited at MFS before.
Many of the MidPoint exhibitors reported great results from their first outing. Spink & Edgar's sales director, Tina Reilly, said: “We weren’t sure what to expect, but are thrilled with the buyers we’ve seen and the positive reaction to our sofas. The show has a lovely feel and we will definitely be back next year.”
In the Main Hall many exhibitors also reported their satisfaction with the event. Steve Lamb, UK sales director for Vida Living, comments: “We’ve had our best-ever Manchester with great sales across a broad spectrum of products. We’ve seen new buyers – especially from Ireland and high-end UK stores – and we couldn’t be more pleased. There is no hesitation in booking our space – hopefully a larger space – for next year.”
The extended VIP hosted buyers scheme also brought more buyers to the event, with many impressed by the calibre of the companies and products they saw – coupled with the relaxed atmosphere of the event and its city centre location.
Show director Cleere Scamell says: “The addition of MidPoint, the enhanced visitor marketing activity and investment in our hosted VIP scheme, all helped attract a larger number of influential and high-spending buyers than ever before. It proved to be a good decision, as many of the buyers taking part were impressed by the quality of the exhibitors and the products on show, and many placed large orders for that important autumn trading period.”
Several exhibitors have requested more space at the 2019 event, and Clarion reports that re-bookings for next year are already high, at over 80%.
The show returns to Manchester Central on 14-16th July 2019.