Scotland’s Trade Fair has reported a positive mood and bustling footfall at its most recent edition, held 24-26 January in Glasgow’s SECC.
Despite the miserable weather outside, attendance up by 8.4 per cent and exhibitors up by 15 per cent, making it one of the most successful editions of the show in recent times.
After an unpredictable year in 2015 many independent retailers reported decent pre-Christmas sales, so were ready to re-stock or at least re-source for 2016. Buyers feedback showed they loved the range and quality of products on offer, and the new Craft Gallery area attracted many upmarket and boutique retailers.
An interesting line up of seminars and workshops also drew the crowds, with buyers and business owners picking up pro tips on benefiting from Google, social media, merchandising and PR.
Mark Saunders, director of Scotland’s Trade Fairs, said: “We have been pleasantly surprised by the success of this show in what are still turbulent economic times. It is encouraging to see so many successful independent shops expanding and doing well, principally because they are marketing savvy, price conscious and are keeping ahead of the market in how they do business and what the offer.”
The Best Product Awards, judged by three leading Scottish retailers, recognised designers who combined originality with customer appeal and value for money. The winners were:
Home & Giftware
Winner: Dibujo Design – coasters.
Runner-up: Cathedral Cask – Harris tweed clock
Highly commended: Highland Stoneware – dish; Poppydaisy Ltd – money wallets
Clothing & Textiles:
Winner: Fraser Knitwear – scarf
Runner-up: JM Cooper Knitwear – poncho
Highly commended: The Edinburgh Bow Tie Company – bow tie; Spike Leisurewear – T-shirt
Jewellery & Fashion Accessories:
Winner: Gist Jewellery – silver jewellery set
Runner-up: All Fired Up – thistle jewellery
Highly commended: Kathryn Williamson – necklace; Skaramanda – brooches
Winner: Pop up Designs – 3D cards
Runner-up: Snow Paw – Harris Tweed boots
Highly commended: Scott and Robson Designs – cards; Weft Blown – shawl