The plaY-room buying event was scheduled to take place Tuesday 29th & Wednesday 30th September, but the pausing of lockdown easing means this is no longer possible.
In an official statement, the group said: “AIS (plaY-room) was very optimistic that mindsets were shifting in their favour when Public Health England stated that it could ‘invite customers into the workplace for the purposes of work’ in early July.
Following this, the government announced on 17th July that business events and exhibitions can recommence on 1st October, subject to the successful completion of some pilots. As a result of this government guidance, where possible, AIS is moving several of its buying events to after October 1st – Beds, Housewares and Linens.
However, for some categories, including Fashion and Toys, lead times do not permit the events to be pushed back. Whilst we had previously received confirmation that we could still host smaller buying meetings in August and September, the government announcement last Friday – putting on hold the relaxation of rules regarding gatherings of up to 30 people – means regrettably that we can no longer run these events.
Our head of operations has been working tirelessly in discussion with the local authorities, Public Health England, Trading Standards and our local MP to understand what AIS can do for its members and suppliers in this rapidly changing environment to facilitate buying meetings, but we now have to accept that, despite our best efforts, we are unable to run these events before at least 1st October.
It is therefore with regret that we have to confirm the cancellation of our Toy Buying Event and now look forward to welcoming members, suppliers and visitors to our 2021 Independent Toy and Gift Show, which is due to take place on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th April 2020.
Thank you to our suppliers for their continued support and understanding as we endeavour to find workable solutions to support both our members and suppliers in these unprecedented times.”
In an email, Miles Penhallow – who is retiring as head of Toys & Children’s Gifts at plaY-room this year – commented: ” It is with great regret that we have had to cancel this event as we wanted to assist the independent with their critical fourth quarter of trading by providing a platform for them to meet with key suppliers.”