Nursery Today magazine

Harrogate 2017 dates announced

Harrogate international Nursery Fair has announced its show dates for next year as Tuesday 28 March to Thursday 30 March 2017, opening mid-week for the first time.

Adrian Sneyd, the show’s organiser explains: “Times have changed and while the show historically always opened on a Sunday for independent retailers who generally closed for the day, Sunday is now a busy trading day. The overall consensus from everyone participating in the show is that mid-week opening works best. We also talked to the organisers of Toy Fair who confirmed that a similar change in days boosted visitor numbers for their show. We were unable to announce this last week as we were awaiting confirmation from the Harrogate International Centre that they could accommodate this change.”

The 2016 show closed its doors just before Easter on an event with a slightly different dimension to previous years, but equally productive for exhibitors and visitors involved.

Adrian continues: “It was obvious to everyone that some of the larger brands chose not to exhibit this year, but rather than adversely affect the success of the show, it actually enhanced business for almost everyone participating. We had some fantastic brands such as BabyStyle, Peg Perego, Venicci, East Coast, Hauck and Bebecar to name just a few, and the majority of these reported an excellent show with independent retailers and multiple buyers choosing their products over the missing brands.

“The show was definitely all about quality over quantity this year. We had all of the multiple retailers attending such as Mothercare, John Lewis, Kiddicare, ToysRUs, The White Company etc, as well as the majority of supermarket buyers. It was noticeable that some of these companies have consolidated their buying teams with less attending the show; however the orders placed with exhibitors remained high value and contributed significantly to successful outcomes for most exhibitors.”

Over one third of exhibitors were brand new to the show in 2016 and this trend was also reflected in the visitors attending. There was a high percentage of brand new independent retailers at Harrogate this year, including many from the children’s clothing and gift sectors and again, this contributed to the successful outcome for exhibitors who report that they opened more new accounts in 2016 than in previous years.

Feedback from the independents who attended has also been excellent. They were delighted with the variety and quantity of brand new, never before seen products and also the abundance of special show offers.

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