Spring Fair 2024 closed on a high after four days of intensive buying, creativity and fun, and now looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in 2025.
Jackson Szabo, Portfolio Director, Spring Fair said, “I have been blown away by the energy, passion and community at Spring Fair during the last four days. The feedback and stories from buyers, exhibitors, and partners have highlighted just how integral this show is to the retail calendar. “As well as the day job of buying, it enables the retail industry to come alive with inspiration, innovation, knowledge and networking. All of our new experiences and activations across the show floor, and the awe-inspiring content on the three stages, have been very well received and I’ve also loved the sense of fun our exhibitors bring – I’ve seen people dressed as sheep, sharks, dogs, naughty elves, and of course Peppa Pig!
“We’re now very excited to look forward to 2025 as we celebrate 75 years as the Home, Gift and Fashion industry’s most established and inventive buying show.”
Many exhibitors were celebrating milestone anniversaries this year, and were all hand delivered a birthday cake from Spring Fair organisers Hyve. Lotus Imports celebrates 60years, Verma Enterprises is 40, Enesco and Garden Trading are 30, Talking Tables celebrate 25 years, Laura Darrington Designs hit 20, Berni Parker Designs celebrates its 15th year, and Academie, Raspberry Blossom, Tache, Louise Tiler, Pickmotion, and Rush Design all reached double figures.
From Sunday to Wednesday, the UK’s longest serving retail show attracted thousands of buyers from retailers including John Lewis, Asda, Fortnum & Mason, Tesco, Aldi UK, Elphicks, Cards Galore, Costcutter, TK Maxx, Mint Velvet, RAF association, NEXT, World Duty Free, Squirrels UK, Yarnton Home and Garden, Claire’s Accessories, Willows Activity Farm, Smiffy’s, Clintons, Macmillan, Wayfair, Harrods, National Trust, Blue Diamond, Fenwick, Laura Ashley, Merlin Entertainment, WHSmith, RSPCA, Warner Bros, TJX Europe, Creaseys, Hallmark, Card Factory, B&Q, Costco, Natural History Museum, and Dobbies Garden Centre, Denby Retail, McElhinneys, and many more, all sourcing for new products and looking for the competitive edge.
Pictured here is Home & Giftware publisher, Charlotte Cowell, seated on a Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen licensed throne created by home interiors brand, Febland.
Sue Waterhouse, Mia James Interiors said, “The show is beautiful. I’ve seen some fabulous new products, and some new accounts opened.”
Her positive sentiment was backed up by the buying team from Northumbrian Water, who said, “Spring Fair is inspirational and varied – it sets your mind for the rest of the year. We also love the human element to it, the background stories of all the businesses.”
Live & Direct
The licensing business delivered a big impact on the show floor with thousands of trend-led licensed products including gifts, collectables, toys, clothing, beauty and housewares featuring Disney characters, Harry Potter, Winnie the Pooh, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Marvel, Barbie, Paddington, Peter Rabbit, Frozen, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Star Wars, as well as wildlife artist, Bree Merryn (whose doormats produced under license from Primeur are pictured below), TV personalities such as Mary Berry, Olly Smith and interior household names including Terence Conran, Catherine Lansfield, Cath Kidston, Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen, Sara Miller, and William Morris.
#SBS Village exhibitor and Pitch Live Gift winner Sally Deer from Ducky Zebra commented on how beneficial the Pitch Live experience has been to her business, “Winning Pitch Live is a huge achievement and I’m really happy. I have opened up 10-year accounts and I have also got several new genuine connections and leads so I am absolutely buzzing!
Innovative content partnerships with TikTok Shop, Google, and The Future Collective drew captivated crowds with an appetite to discover the next key trends and technologies impacting the retail sector. Delivering insights on topics ranging from AI and digital retail to conscious consumerism and licensing, and welcoming industry stalwarts such as Theo Paphitis, Spring Fair’s three new stages offered its most comprehensive schedule to date, across all four days all completely free to attend for all visitors.
Ginny Major, eCommerce Home & Living Category Manager, TikTok Shop Global said “Collaborating with Spring Fair has been essential in educating the industry about the value of TikTok Shop and the future of social commerce. We’ve made connections with so many remarkable businesses and eagerly await returning for Autumn Fair.”
The line-up for the final day included a fireside chat with British fashion and textile designer and pioneer Dame Zandra Rhodes, who took to the Inspiring Retail Stage to a packed audience and talked through her journey in design with a career spanning over five decades. From launching her own collection of chiffon kaftans in 1969, opening her first store on Bond Street in 1977 to her many collaborations with the likes of Ikea and Happy Socks.
Talking about her favourite collection Rhodes commented, “I loved my collections in the 70s with all the beautiful flowing chiffons. I have enjoyed the adventure into fashion and being involved in whole process of design.”
Speaking on the future of fashion, she said: “I think the way the world is going, we have to think of everything being adjustable and use things in different way so they last. We can’t keep using the world’s resources. We need to treasure what we have and work with it.”
Offering advice to the visitors at Spring Fair, Rhodes concluded, “Never give up! The world might be changing so you hope we’d adapt to it. We have to take advantage of the opportunities that come along and run with it. You should always surround yourself with positive friends who encourage you to try new things and be experimental. It is better to aim for something and you might reach for the stars than regret it for the rest of your life.”
Spring Fair returns for its 75th edition from 2nd – 5th February 2025, visit www.springfair.com