Unrivalled, Inspiring, Essential: Autumn Fair 2016 – The Highlights

Autumn Fair welcomed thousands of visitors to its 2016 edition last week, offering the ultimate cross-sector buying experience teamed with networking opportunities, educational masterclasses and business insights, confirming its status as the essential home and gift trade event in the autumn buying calendar for visitors and exhibitors alike.

Over 1,300 exhibitors were accompanied by a comprehensive programme of seminars, panel discussions and Q&A sessions, representing all areas of the retail industry. Highlights included a keynote delivery from Jo Malone MBE to a packed audience, who benefitted from the entrepreneur’s valuable retail advice and tips for success using five key principles; inspiration, innovation, integrity, ignition and instinct.

Other speakers across the four days included experts from Facebook, Twitter, One World Trading Company and The Great Gift Company, as well as the winner of the BBC’s Great Interior Design Challenge 2015 Martin Holland. One-to-one sessions also took place as part of an all-new Meet the Experts feature, offering tailored advice from experts on topics such as social media, accounting and logistics.

Helen Crawford of The Old Beauty School described her Meet The Experts appointment with Martin Holland as “15 minutes of sheer retail expert heaven”, adding that she “recommends taking out this short time from your day at Autumn Fair to gain a few pearls of wisdom from the experts.”

In attendance this year were key decision-makers from Selfridges, John Lewis, Tesco, House of Cards, Indigo Tree, Something Special, notonthehighstreet.com, Lottie Mutton, Fishpools, and Rhubarb.

Lauren Blake, Buyer at Wayfair said: “Autumn Fair is always a great show; the offering here is good for us and we come specifically to find new products.”

Carolie Keech, Owner/Buyer at Daisy Chain Gift Company, said “I attend every year looking for the ‘wow’ moment, and so far I’ve seen some great new pieces”; while Alison Mobberley of Harbour Trading said: “The offering from exhibitors has been great. The well-edited show floor and collections have enabled us to spot new and exciting brands and products really easily.”

Jacqueline Ridley, Joint Partner of Giftbox, added: “Autumn Fair is a vital date in our calendar, we never miss it. In fact, we do all of our buying here for the entire season in one go. We feel there is a good variety of product and we always find something new.”

Autumn Fair also saw Le Creuset make their debut alongside Villeroy & Boch and The DRH Collective in new show area The Bira Contemporary Collective, a showcase of mid to high-end contemporary tableware and kitchen products.

Michael Faulkner, National Account Manager at Le Creuset said: “The quantity and quality of new accounts opened has far exceeded our expectations, with the first order written within 30 minutes of the show opening. We gained distribution across the whole of the UK and Ireland, meeting our objectives to open accounts in the right gift stores and garden centres.”

Danny Bovingdon of Coach House also deemed the show a success, claiming “we have had nearly 100 customers apply to open new accounts with us”; while Sally Mason, Sales Manager at Ginger Fox, added: “This year’s Autumn Fair has been the best show we’ve had at Ginger Fox in a few years.”

In the Lighting sector, Alison Polley, UK Sales Manager for Light & Living, said: “Sales are way up on last year and we’ve had an amazing retailer reaction; they are blown away by the product and prices that we’ve presented at Autumn Fair.

Rounding up a year of newness, inspiration, and excitement on the show floor at Autumn Fair, Portfolio Director Naomi Barton, said: “Autumn Fair continues to grow and is still delivering an unrivalled buying experience through our breadth and depth of product. One third of the show floor this year was made up of brand new exhibitors to the show, and the combination of these new brands together with returning exhibitors provides buyers with the largest collective home and gift offering in the Autumn season’.

For further highlights from the 2016 event, please visit www.autumnfair.com,

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