Gifts Today magazine

Exclusively 2017 sees strong visitor profile

The London-based Exclusively Shows, which took place June 13-14 delivered top-quality visitors, from John Lewis to Selfridges to House of Fraser

The unique ‘invited buyer’ format of the Exclusively Shows has delivered a strong visitor profile for exhibitors once again, confirmed show organiser, Brooke House Exhibitions.

“Senior, quality buyers from across all the different retail categories attended the shows this year,” says show director Simon Boyd.

The Exclusively Shows, which ran June 13-14 at the Business Design Centre in London, vet all their visitors carefully, inviting only bona fide housewares, tablewares and SDA buyers to attend the shows.

From the UK’s high streets buyers from The Range, TK Maxx, Argos, Robert Dyas, Marks & Spencer, Lakeland and Steamer Trading all attended. From ‘Out of Town’, Leekes, Dunelm and Dixons Carphone were represented.

The grocery sector saw teams from Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Tesco and Asda at the show, whilst department store visitors included John Lewis, House of Fraser, Debenhams, Selfridges, Brown Thomas, Barnitts, Dinghams, Rossiters, Jarrolds, Bentalls of Kingston and several different Fenwick stores.

Exhibitors also welcomed buyers from a wide range of e-commerce/mail order companies including Amazon, Achica, Brand Alley, Next Online, Kaleidoscope, Freemans, JD Williams, Express Gifts, Wayfair, Harts of Stur, Shop Direct, Ocado, QVC and Ideal World.

“It was great to see a good line up of independent retailers making the most of the shows this year,” says Simon.

“Borough Kitchen, Lords at Home, Butlers Choice, Potters, Morleys, WH Hurst & Son, FTB Lawson, Roys of Wroxham, Upstairs Downstairs and Kitchen Kapers were all in the aisles.”

In addition, buying groups such as Sirius and Euronics attended Exclusively Electrical, along with bira Direct and AIS. In the wholesale/cash & carry sector exhibitors saw buyers from Decco, Costco, Jegs Electrical, Stax, EFG and Home Hardware and garden centre visitors included Bents, Wyevale, Blue Diamond and Haskins.

The shows' invited group of international buyers also drew praise from exhibitors, all of whom are given the opportunity to meet the buyers in a separate networking event held the evening before the shows open.

Heavyweight retailers from as far afield as Australia, Poland, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Hong Kong, as well as Scandinavia and Europe, all visited the shows this year. The international line-up includes recommendations from the Housewares Committee at BHETA, which works closely with the shows to ensure visitor contacts are kept up to date.

A look to the future
This year’s shows also included a new area utilising the Atrium Gallery above the Exclusively Electrical show floor, which was dedicated to a comprehensive trend display co-ordinated by trend forecasters Scarlet Opus. Sponsored by BHETA, the team has worked with the shows for several years to help both suppliers and visitors be aware, and make the most of, consumer and design trends affecting the housewares sector.

Their role includes offering Trend Tours of the shows – taken up this year by visitors including John Lewis, B&Q and the BBC licensing team.

BHETA also sponsored a packed, and well-attended, seminar programme, run in the shows’ new Tomorrow’s Kitchen feature. The seminars combined to give a detailed overview of what is to come for the kitchen of the future and allowed visitors the opportunity to view some of the latest kitchen technology including a Samsung fridge with interior cameras, a remote-controlled oven and the very latest induction hob.

Will Jones, housewares director for BHETA, and chairman of Brooke House Exhibitions, commented “The feedback from members to this year’s show has been very positive with many pleased at the overall quality and buyer representation from all the main retail sectors. In addition, the positive reaction to the show initiatives that are all designed to add value and stimulate the industry has been pleasing.”

Finally, a new ‘press showcase’ was introduced this year aimed at attracting key consumer press and bloggers to review key product launches and ranges at the show. The initiative saw over 50 top consumer journalists attending, with more requesting a post-show brief on the showcased brands. Coverage from this new initiative has already appeared in Hello magazine, for new exhibitor Coravin, and in GQ for Welsh Slateware.

“Initial feedback from exhibitors and visitors points to another busy and productive two days for everyone involved. We had tremendous support, not only from key sponsors RKW, Brabantia and Brita, but from all our exhibitors for our new initiatives, and will be looking, as always, to build on this for next year!” commented Simon.

Next year Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical will run on Tuesday and Wednesday, 12 & 13 June at the Business Design Centre, London.

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