The season’s market leading home and gift show, Autumn Fair, is setting a vision for the future, as it reveals it will undergo a major re-edit and unveil a rebrand for 2019.
Following a year of planning by the organiser, the announcement comes ahead of this year’s Autumn Fair, which kick starts on Sunday and runs to September 5.
Louise Young, managing director, Spring & Autumn Fair said: “Our strategy is for ‘all of retail’, with Autumn Fair as one of largest sourcing destinations in Europe. How people are buying is changing – but how much and what people are buying is not. Following our recent acquisition by ITE Plc, Autumn Fair will see investment in buying programmes to attract more multiples interested in private label, along with a focussed strategy for online retailer acquisition. Working with all types of suppliers and buyers we will create a hub for all of retail.
“Further funding will also be made available to target international retailers, as efforts are made to support the all-important export market. This will be in addition to continued investment in the independent sector. A rebrand will also see Autumn Fair put retailers at the centre of what we do and reinforce its purpose as a market place; bringing buyers and sellers together.”
The exhibition, now in its 29th year, will switch locations within the NEC from the Piazza to the Atrium revealing newly organised halls. Analysis of visitors’ primary and secondary product interest were the cornerstone for creating the new sector adjacencies, aimed at improving visitors flow and facilitating crossover buying opportunities.
In 2019, two major boulevards will connect each sector of the show, ensuring buyers’ dwell time is maximised to see the thousands of new ranges available. Visitors will have a marketplace experience and easier navigation to the exhibitors they want to see.
The new layout also brings together contemporary and general gift, creating the largest sourcing opportunity for gifts in Europe, perfectly timed for short orders ahead of Christmas and for key spring retail spikes including Valentines’ Day and Mothers’ Day.
Autumn Fair 2019 will bring to the fore retail experiences that will facilitate a higher level of creativity and experimentation, more interaction and ultimately lead to more deals being done over the four-day period.
Louise Young, managing director, Spring & Autumn Fair said: “Our customers asked us to change the layout of the show and to also see how we can bring the two separate gift halls together, and we listened. We are delighted to have achieved that. The response has been beyond what we had expected. To celebrate the re-edit and as a thank you to our loyal customers we are also offering 2019 square metres of free space. We will welcome back our lapsed customers too with the opportunity to book premium space now.”
Retailers will be attracted to the event by world-class content programmes that help them innovate and differentiate from their peer set. Maximising time at the event by finding the right partner or product will also be easily facilitated by Autumn Fair product match, an online tool which see its soft launch at this year‘s Autumn Fair.
Autumn Fair has also teased that there will be a bold new look and feel in 2019 that will create some retail theatre and magic moments that will inspire retailers to emulate in store. Spring and Autumn Fair recently joined ITE Group as part of its acquisition of Ascential Events, and this re-edit forms part of the investment and renewed focus ITE set to bring to the well-established brands.
Autumn Fair takes place at the NEC Birmingham, 2-5 September 2018. You can still register to attend for free here.
Here’s the full detail on what is changing:
- Living and Accents & Décor in Halls 19 & 20 will now sit in between The Summerhouse and Everyday (formerly Volume), for an easier shopping route for visitors around home and lifestyle products.
- Beauty & Wellbeing in Hall 20 will move to where the home and gift sectors meet, creating a real hub for crossover buying of lifestyle products.
- All gifting categories have been brought together into Gift in Halls 20, 6, 7, 8 and 9 to create the UK’s largest gathering of gift inspiration under one roof.
- Greetings & Stationery in Hall 6 will move beside Gift and have its own dedicated entrance.
- The new Play & Tech sector in Halls 6 & 7 will feature along the main boulevard in Gift, where exhibitors will be next to other licensed brands that complement the children’s gift market.
- Fashion moves to Hall 9 with a new layout that will present the latest trends and will benefit from crossover buying as it borders the Gift sector.
- International in Hall 10 will also now have its own dedicated entrance.