Upbeat Autumn Fair suggests positive retail outlook

Published on: 19th September 2018

Investment following ITE Plc acquisition will see 2019 event benefit from major re-edit, with visitor flow improved and buying opportunities enhanced.

The retail community came together at the N.E.C. ahead of the Golden Quarter with buyers, visual merchandisers and owners from independent, multis, e-tailers, tourist and leisure destinations in attendance.

At the Fair’s four live theatres, buyers could gain valuable market insights and updates on current trends that are driving consumer spending throughout the Golden Quarter and beyond.

Visitors to the main stage had the opportunity to hear from two leading lights in the retail sector in Theo Paphitis and’s Holly Tucker, who both shared insights from their personal journeys, as well as their advice and predictions for the upcoming year.

Autumn Fair 2018 also saw the introduction of a dedicated section for the best of Theo Paphitis’ #SBS (Small Business Sunday) community. Designed specifically to celebrate the endeavours of independent start-ups, the showcase got off to an impressive start with many exhibitors reporting orders even before arriving at Autumn Fair.

Across key 2018 sectors, Children’s Toys & Gifts and Home, feedback was positive, with exhibitors reporting stronf sales figures and increased interest. Michelle Probert, sales and marketing manager at Juratoys commented: “Autumn Fair has been fantastic –we’ve seen our order values soar. Both the quality and quantity of customers has been very good. It’s also meant a lot to us to have received plenty of positive feedback on our stand.”

Louise Young, MD Spring & Autumn Fair said: “Buyers came ready to be inspired by ranges for the up and coming major sell though periods for retail. It’s simply good news for all of retail that suppliers and retailers have come together to make this year’s Autumn Fair a commercial success for those that visited and exhibited – it’s a good barometer for the Christmas trading period and into spring.”

New owner ITE Plc has announced a major investment programme in the Fair. Newly organised halls will improve visitor flow and facilitate greater crossover buying opportunities, with content that will encourage multiples to source more private label/own brand with exhibitors at the show. In addition, a new investment programme will focus on increasing attendance from online and international retailers.

Louise added: “In 2019, both Spring and Autumn Fair are well positioned to continue providing a unique proposition for retailers. With the new re-edit plans we’re looking to really optimise the fair experience for both visitors and exhibitors, including updating show sectors to present real opportunities for crossover buying and better enabled networking.”

Potential exhibitors can apply for a stand through Autumn Fair’s website. Retailers are also encouraged to register now for Spring Fair, scheduled for 3-7 February 2019.


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