Spring into 2020 at the main event for retail

On Sunday February 2 at The NEC, Birmingham, Spring Fair will showcase over 2,500 exhibitors across a breathtaking array of products and services, from gifts, home accessories and home fragrances through to paper products, fashion accessories, jewellery, toys and tabletop. Sustainability will be high on our agenda as we scour the hundreds of thousands of new products being launched at the show next week, alongside true design innovation and the hottest trend tips.

The layout has been completely re-edited for the forthcoming event, which serves as the UK’s largest marketplace for home and gift and is a major networking hub for the industry.

One of the most significant changes planned for Spring Fair 2020 is a transformational reshuffle of the show floor to form two distinct sourcing destinations – Gifts and Home & Living – providing attendees with the largest collection of giftware in the UK and the largest continuous home offering. This follows a successful re-edit of Autumn Fair 2019, which created a renewed look-and-feel for the must-attend marketplace for product discovery.

Throughout the show, visitors will be able to get up-close and hands-on with the very best the industry has to offer across 16 show sectors, including Glee @ Spring Fair, Cook and Dine, and Jewellery & Watch, which will move to Hall 1 in 2020.

Across five days and three stages, visitors will be treated to fresh retail sector insights from world-renowned industry innovators. For the duration of the show, Spring Fair’s Inspiring Retail Stage, Design and Source Stage and Retail Skills Theatre will present some of the most interesting ideas in retail.

Hosting insightful seminars, celebrity Q&As and expert panel discussions covering hot topic issues from sustainability, customer experience, and the ever-increasing move towards hybrid retailing will be the Inspiring Retail Stage. Major industry keynote speakers from John Lewis, Selfridges, Google, PWC and Mintel will be joining show trend partners Colour Hive to share their successes with the audience.

The Queen of Cakes, Mary Berry, will be appearing at Spring Fair 2020 Courtesy of Captivate Brands. Hear from Mary Berry as she talks about her latest creative collaboration and how she takes inspiration from her garden.

Queen of Shops, Mary Portas, will also make an appearance at the show, also on the Inspiring Retail Stage, on Tuesday February 4 from 14.00 – 15.00, in conversation with The Times Retail Editor, Ashley Armstrong.

Covering the essential must-know tips, tricks and best practices for the retail industry in 2020 will be the speakers of the ever-popular Retail Skills Theatre. Located in hall 2, the stage will host a number of educational speakers focusing on delivering practical insights for everyone from fledgling start-up retailers to established online indies looking to improve their offering. Amongst the speakers will be management coaches, HR experts, digital consultants and PR strategists with Google Digital Garage running a series of workshops within this theatre.

For 2020, Spring Fair has also introduced a brand new loyalty programme, The Club which will recognise and reward visitors, making their experience at Spring Fair 2020 even more memorable. In addition, the show has also introduced an exclusive hosted buyers programme, ‘The Club Platinum’.
For 2020 Spring Fair has pledged to open up new opportunities, markets and trend influences as part of its ‘Hello New’ event theme and mantra. As part of this, the show will recognise the growing importance of the creative design process that brands and retailers must go through before they take those new products to manufacture.

To support this, The Design and Source Stage will feature as part of the show’s all-new Sourcing area in hall 18. Speakers will give insight-led talks on how visitors can get one-step ahead of market rivals in 2020 by looking beyond the UK’s borders for the best and most competitively priced products. They’ll also address the latest design practices and inspiration sources, as well as educate visitors about more practical issues such as product lifecycle management and sourcing techniques.

The show will also continue to help businesses drive more sustainable changes, encouraging buyers to think about not only the price and quality of a product but of its environmental impact. Buyers will have the opportunity to meet with thousands of potential new suppliers who will challenge them to adopt new products that will win plaudits from consumers.

As part of a commitment to help visitors make positive and sustainable changes to their business model, the show’s successful Power of One campaign, which ran at Spring Fair and Autumn Fair 2019, will be evolving for 2020 to have a greater focus on exhibitors who’ve pledges to do more around sustainability, environmental causes and single-use packaging. Spring Fair 2020 will play host to a new sustainability trail which will make it easier than ever before for visitors to connect with ethically and environmentally conscious suppliers who are striving to do their part to future-proof the retail sector and save the planet.

Imags from top to bottom: Keel Toys’ new 100% recycled range of soft toys stuffed with with 100% recycled polyester from plastic waste; independent British jewellery brand, Scream Pretty, Cheatwell Games’ Engenius Contraptions Clockwork Globe, Mary Berry, The Out of the Blue tableware collection by Gusta, distributed by My Gifts Trade, My Little Panda bamboo cutlery; Lola Designs beautiful spring chicken greeting card; The Great British Bee Company Raw Honey Bar Soap; Holy Mackerel’s Funny Olde Worlde cards by Erica Sturla.