The 2019 edition of the Manchester Furniture Show (MFS) came to a close on Tuesday, with exhibitors reporting positive reactions to new launches and significant sales interest.
Retailers from the length and breadth of the UK explored the latest upholstery, cabinet, beds and accessory launches over the course of the three-day event.
Against a widely acknowledged background of difficult retail conditions, many exhibitors arrived at the show with realistic expectations. Despite a slight drop in footfall (-2% on the previous year), numerous exhibitors – including La-Z-Boy, Vida Living, UK Agency, Heartlands and ALF – reported impressive buyer quality and a 'very satisfactory' level of orders and leads.
Before the 2019 event closed, over 50% of the exhibitors had already committed to take part in MFS 2020, with many citing the importance of supporting their customers by showing at two large-scale events during the year.
The short-term challenges in the high street and longer-term changes to retail overall have prompted the show's organiser to review, grow and increase investment in its VIP buyer scheme for the 2020 event, broadening its reach across the UK and Europe.
Speaking about the plans for fresh investment, new features and a refined layout next year, event director Cleere Scamell comments: “We have big plans for 2020. Although times are uncertain, to me now is the perfect time for us to invest significantly and build on the solid foundation of Manchester Furniture Show’s decades-long reputation.
"We will be spreading the net wider than ever, reminding busy retailers about the incredible range of product on show and encouraging participation from even more key suppliers.
"This year the halls were packed with ingenuity and inspiration, as well as accessible products at every price point – all crucial factors in making a real difference to the bottom line of the most creative and forward-thinking retailers.
"We are committed to getting that message out to the widest audience of buyers, and welcome them to this much-loved and impressive event. We will help them find those game-changing product lines and - in true MFS style - make sure they go home with a smile on their face as well! The famous atmosphere here is key to what makes this event work, and we want to make sure that there is more of it!
"We will be spending the coming months planning creative ways to ensure that the 2020 event will offer the very best that the UK furniture industry has to offer. We will keep everyone informed about the exciting new developments, and look forward to welcoming everybody to MFS next year.”