Click to view Glee at Spring Fair 2020 highlights video.
Exhibitors kick-started the 2020 spring sales season in style at Glee at Spring Fair on 2nd – 6th February, with suppliers reporting strong levels of enquiries from UK and overseas visitors – and healthy order books as the show got underway.
Buyers from independents and retail chains flocked to the NEC in Birmingham to see the latest innovation from the garden trade, and snap-up stock of new products for 2020 that offer the highest levels of potential to drive retail sales this season.
At Laurica Plants from Belgium, which specialises in the cultivation of bay trees, Manager Elie Devisch praised the quality of visitors, pointing out that he had made seven new contacts in the space of a day. He said: “I have seen old and potential customers and met with visitors from the USA and Canada – as well as from Ireland, which is important for our market.”
An upbeat mood was evident on the stand of Riverco Trading, supplier of British-made wooden garden furniture, which returned to Glee at Spring Fair for the third year. Riverco Trading Owner, Peter Wootton, said: “It’s a good show with lots of potential. We’ve taken orders and secured several new accounts.” The company reported that its flat-packed bench pallets, which contain nine benches on a pallet with free delivery, had been a star seller at the show, with strong interest also reported in Frogsuit, a wood protection product that has been in the best-sellers list on TV shopping channel QVC.
It was a successful show for Creative Products, providing the company with a platform to showcase its Creative TV services – instore merchandising solutions with built-in screens that inspire consumers and drive impulse sales. Creative Products Director,Mark Hall, said one of the highest levels of enquiries had centred around its new product that won best in show at Glee at Spring Fair: double-sided, ultra-strong, reusable and waterproof Nano Gel Tape that sticks to wood, metal, plastic and glass, while its Dickie Birds Fat Ball Garland, a ‘highly commended’ new product at the show which allows fat balls for birds to be hung individually or joined together to create an attractive garland, was the centre of attention, too.
Mark added that the company’s dead head ‘snipz’ – deadheading snippers that retail for £2.99, are fast becoming a key driver of sales for retailers – having received a strong level of interest at the show. Mark said: “It’s an old line that’s reinvigorating sales usingTV marketing. One garden centre said they had sold 450 in just three weeks, and that was out of season”.
First time exhibitor www.potterypots.com, distributed by My Gifts Trade, aimed to inspire buyers by staging dramatic “retail theatre” with a range of container designs on its stand. My Gifts Trade Purchasing Manager, David Homer, said the company’s new-for-2020 Zayn bamboo containers, which feature fibrestone interiors for year-round rigidity and tap into the current trend for sustainable gardening solutions, attracted the highest level of interest from buyers, with orders for the company’s container portfolio secured as well.
Fargro returned to Glee at Spring Fair for the second time, with the company’s representatives reporting buoyant trade throughout the exhibition. Fargro Product Manager, Kieran Daly, said: “It has been a good show for us. We were very busy on Sunday, while Monday and Tuesday were good, too. We’ve seen a lot of more retail buyers and florists this year, who we may not necessarily have met with at Glee in September.”
Kieran reported healthy levels of interest from buyers in Fargro’s Lamela Eco range of pots, which tick the boxes for environmentally conscious retailers as they’re made from woodchip and recycled plastic and are fully recyclable at the end of their life. “Interest in sustainable pots is being driven by the indoor plant market,” Kieran explained. Other star performers on the stand included the Boskke Sky Planter, a novel upside-down hanging planter that can keep plants watered for up to two weeks, and Boskke Till Planter, which helps consumers to successfully grow kitchen herbs and houseplants with its integrated irrigation system that only requires refilling once a fortnight.
At iTip, supplier of British-made iTip Handles that allow wheelbarrows to be emptied with safety and ease, the company’s Andy Hill said Glee at Spring Fair had allowed him to meet with a “good cross-section of buyers” – from garden centres to gift shops and online retailers. Andy added: “We’ve experienced a good quality rather than quantity of visitors, who have all been looking for something really different for their retail outlets.” The handles launched last year, come in 11 colours and are already making big inroads into the gardening, equestrian and construction markets.
Finally, the timing of Glee at Spring Fair was right on cue for Joseph Noblett, supplier of Christmas trees and accessories, which has exhibited for the last three years. Proprietor, Joseph Noblett said: “We were pleased with the first two days – the show works for us. It’s at the right time of year, as Christmas is still fresh in everyone’s minds.” Joseph said the show had helped his business target “high end landscapers from central London” who were looking for big impact specimen trees in wooden barrels.