Scotland’s Trade Spring Fair saw returning confidence in the market with exhibitors and buyers in an upbeat, positive frame of mind at the show.
Off the back of a successful retail season in 2022 in Scotland, show organisers said buyers are feeling very positive about the year ahead and that the leads and orders generated reflected this. Tourism is one of the key drivers of the gift market in Scotland and the early indicators for this year are very positive once again.
Sandy Rae from exhibitor Pigment Publications said: “This has been a great show for us with both new and existing orders. It is great to be back to pre-pandemic levels of sales.”
Richard Wallace from new exhibitor Glen Ogal said: “This has been a fantastic few days for us, with many orders written, new stockists secured and new leads established. It is a great start to the year.”
One highlight of the Show was the Best Product awards judged by retail experts Sarah Gordon from Luss General Store, Charmaine Fox from Caulders Garden Centres and Amy McCusker from Wee Box. They were impressed by the standard of the entrants as well as the price points, design and creativity, making choosing winners very difficult.
Amy McCusker said: “From innovative design to stylish gifts, the entrants and winners of the awards alike should be proud. It is inspiring to see the industry pushing the envelope and emerging from two years of the pandemic with renewed determination.”
Winners of the Cards and stationery category were:
- Gold – The Wee Book Company – children’s book
- Silver – Pop Up Designs – light up birthday card
- Bronze – Pink Pig – cards
The Talking Shop Seminar Theatre hosted a series of well-attended informative and relevant talks on all aspects of retailing, including masterclasses on social media and online content, panel discussions with leading influencers and the ever- favourite Nessie’s Den, where new young companies pitch to retailers in a light-hearted session.
Ivan McKee MSP, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism & Enterprise, toured the Show and spoke about support for Scottish businesses.
Shows director Mark Saunders commented: “While there are clearly big challenges still for all businesses, it will be considerably easier to navigate these as footfall in shops continues to build. The past three years have not been easy ones for exhibitions and in that time, new routes to market and subtle changes in buying patterns have emerged. However, over and over again, the overriding benefits of trade shows were evident. Face to face communication will not go away and the ability to see, feel, touch, taste and smell are a vitally important part of the buying process.”
The Autumn Show is on the earlier date of August 20-21, and the 2024 Show will take place on January 21-23 January 2024.