Moved from its traditional late September date to August 20-21, organisers of Scotland’s Trade Fair Autumn say it proved to be a huge success attracting buyers from all over Scotland and overseas.
With 115 exhibitors from gifts and homeware, to crafts and cards and jewellery to textiles, the new early date allowed retailers to source stock and place orders in advance of the English trade gift shows. Many retailers are running low in stock following a very busy summer tourist season with North American, Far Eastern and cruise ship visitors returning to Scotland in their droves.
The new Craft Gallery proved a hit with a host of creative suppliers of jewellery, crafts and textiles, which is particularly popular with galleries, high-end retailers and those looking for something a little different.
The Launch Gallery for new young companies was full with some 17 exhibitors such as Muka Jewellery, The Ink Balm, LilyBee, Purple Sage Soap Company and Victoria Gordon Art, to mention just a few.
Elsewhere buyers enjoyed seeing new exhibitors such as Enesco, Academie, Lancaster & Gibbings, as well as connecting with Show favourites such as Glen Appin, Siabann, Maccessori, Art Cuts and many more.
Simon Henderson from Earth Squared said: “This Show has been good on many accounts with good orders processed. The date change has made the Show more relevant in the buying calendar for shops as it is now ahead of Autumn Fair so shops can place orders here first without the rush at Autumn Fair.”
Christmas orders were flowing as well, giving the suppliers decent lead times to fulfil them. Exhibitors and buyers alike enjoyed the Show, which is a manageable and friendly size, allowing more time for networking and re-connecting.
Kirsty Gibson from Enesco said: “This is our first time at Scotland’s Trade Fair and we have seen many new customers, especially ones that we have wanted to supply for years, so this allowed us to meet them face to face. The new timing is useful as we can show our Christmas stock and get ahead on sales for next year pre the January shows.”
Mark Saunders, director of organisers Springboard Events, said: “Confidence at Scotland’s Trade Fair Autumn 2023 leapt after a tough couple of years. The show saw an increase in exhibitors of 10% and a huge increase of new exhibitors to the show.
“The primary reasons for the increased market confidence was an earlier dateline for the show, which moved from late September to August. This has meant buyers are able to place orders before the Autumn series of shows in England with more budget at their disposal. In addition, very strong overseas tourist numbers in Scotland have driven more people through gift shops. Finally, for overseas visitors the low pound means gift shop purchases are very good value. If these conditions continue through late summer and Autumn it bodes well for Scotland’s Trade Fair Spring in January.”