Gifts Today magazine

A-list buyers flock to Harrogate

The 2016 Home & Gift Buyer’s Festival, which took place July 17-20 this year in the welcoming heart of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, saw a five per cent increase in both multiples and department stores

Building on its past successes, this year’s Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival, with its 250-plus new brands, as well as all-time favourites, surpassed expectations with the newly added Design Point 4 and Gifts For All areas; not to mention the plethora of talks and the Product Trails on offer - which made it even easier for buyers to find high quality, original products with ease.

Despite initial Brexit fears, The Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival was stronger than ever, with a five per cent increase in attendance from Multiples, and a five per cent increase from Department stores. They also noted the influential buyers who made an appearance, such as Debenhams; Fenwick, Laura Ashley, The National Trust; Tesco; Heals; Hallmark cards, Moonpig, Next, Selfridges, Sainsburys and WH Smith.

As Show Director Cleere Scamell says: “This year we experienced the most vibrant show in living memory, we had numerous comments that The Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival is back.”

He adds: “After uncertainty it’s great to hear key brands like Xystos taking record orders at the show amongst many others”.

Xystos achieved record sales this year, and as Xystos director Tom Sykes puts it, “the show proved that there is no substitute for high quality, original giftware products and all in all, it was another great Harrogate”.

Martin Davis, owner of Studio 23 Seven says: “The Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival exceeded all of my expectations In terms of footfall it was amazing with the quality of buyers being far higher than any other trade show I’ve been to anywhere in the world. I couldn’t be happier and I’m looking forward to being here again next year!”

The inspiring line-up of speakers in The Great Northern Retail Forum included keynote talks David Green of Google; Katherine Owen Fowler of John Lewis; and Tom Kerridge, the celebrity Michelin star chef. Tom paired up with the Great British Exchange to showcase what he describes as “fantastic British skills” and launched a brand new kitchenware range at the show.

The talks were packed with eager ears, and proved inspiring and insightful for all listening - carrying on the tradition of great business speakers at The Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival.

Buyers also had a chance to meet the new talents of design-led brands in the form of the Design Point Debut hall. New designers got a chance to showcase their innovative new products and gifts to the industry.

Highlights included Alice Caroline’s fresh take on the floral print, Lorna Syson’s interior textiles and the rustic cobalt designs on display from RB Ceramics.

Claudia Roberts, Head of Home, Gift, Clothing & Food, Notcutts garden centres says: “The Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival is one of those shows that feels more independent that mass market which is perfect for us. I especially like the Made in the UK product on offer; we are keen on supporting that philosophy. It’s a relaxed show and one that’s easy to navigate due to its great design and gives us time to really interact with exhibitors and get to know what they offer.”

Cleere is already looking forward to 2017: “We are already planning ways to ensure our visitors get even more great ideas from every part of this uniquely enjoyable show”. If trends continue, Home & Gift 2017 is shaping up to be a fair you can’t afford to miss. The 2017 show dates have been confirmed for the 16th to 19th July.

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