As we head into Spring and gardeners around the UK get planting and digging, plans for Glee - the International Festival for Garden, Leisure and Pet being held at the NEC from 27th-29th June - are also hotting up. This year the focus will not just be on the great outdoors, as a brand new Home, Gift & Clothing sector is about to take shape on the exhibition floor.
Whilst Glee has long hosted key exhibitors in these categories, the 2023 show will be the first time that such a strong focus has been placed upon gifting, homeware, fashion accessories and apparel. This is testament to garden centres’ success in extending their instore offerings, and also offers a significant opportunity for other retailers.
As the first trade exhibition taking place in the second half of the year, Glee offers a golden opportunity for gift shops to get ahead of the curve and secure orders before Christmas. Visitors will be able to source from top-flight suppliers offering products that range from candles, toys and crafting kits to greetings cards, giftwrap and stationery, whilst specialists in hats, scarves, gloves, boots and other winter woolies will help retailers get set for the festive season.
Meet the Exhibitors Some of the biggest names in the greetings card industry will showcase their latest collections and merchandise solutions at Glee, including UK Greetings, Woodmansterne Publications, Noel Tatt Group, Giftwrap UK and Museums & Galleries.
Joining them on the show floor will be fabulous British companies exhibiting a wide variety of gift and homeware product, much of which has a sustainable angle or is made here in the UK. These include The Candle Brand, The Crafty Kit Company, Playpress Toys, The Wheat Bag Company, Out of the Kiln (Pam Peters Designs), Alex Sharp Photography, Robert Frederick, Kushboo Soaps, Tilnar Art, New English Teas, Ivy & Twine Candles, Jarapa, Hippychick, Playmonster UK, Seedball, Art on Scarves, Victoria Eggs, Freckleface Designs, Rainbow Designs, Naked Shells, Brass Bee and Soake.
One of the new exhibitors in this sector, Christina Brand, founder of The Candle Brand, said: "We are a multi award winning company having won Gift of the Year in three categories, yet this will be our first Glee show. Our awards were won based on our plantable seeded labels on our candles and diffusers, as well as our flower fragrance diffusers. We are excited to be exhibiting at a show to connect with buyers for gift and garden centres.
"We will soon be launching a new selling concept for our pick and mix wax melts, where we will now be offering them unpackaged with POS as well as packaged. As well as our brand new product 'Scented Ceramics' for use in cars, wardrobes, and drawers. Glee will be the first physical show to have these exhibited and for sale. At the stand we will be giving away promotional bags which will include our brochures, as well as first order offers, existing customer offers and a free wax melt".
Also participating in Glee 2023 within the Home, Gift & Clothing sector are major overseas manufacturers such as Pantherella International Group, Maison Bel, Bachmann Europe, Fountasia, Biohort, Hellmann-Versand and Burstenhaus Redecker.
First come, first served!
With its late June exhibition dateline, Glee takes place at the prime time for pre-Christmas buying, enabling retailers to get an angle on the hottest seasonal trends and plan their merchandise ahead of the main trading period. Glee 2022 saw retailers come out in force to do their ‘Christmas shopping’ and this year’s Home, Gift & Clothing sector has grown as a result.
Glee Director, Matthew Mein comments: “Home, Gift & Clothing is an exciting new sector for Glee, and we’re thrilled that such an exceptional mix of companies will be joining us at this year’s show, many of them for the first time. As well as inspiring garden centres to further diversify into lucrative new categories, we also want to show traditional home and gift retailers how to integrate gardening into their lifestyle merchandise mix.
“Millions of British consumers are out in their gardens digging, planting up containers on balconies or cultivating houseplants. The upsurge of interest in nature and desire to be more sustainable is driving huge interest in certain sectors – pots and planters, gardening tools, outdoor clothing and seeds, for example – and we want to show gift and home retailers how they can benefit from these vital growth areas.
“Not only can buyers take steps to break new ground at Glee, but they can also stock up on the crucial staple products which will keep tills ringing in the run up to Christmas - whether it’s home fragrances or giftwrap, flower vases or gardening gloves, wall art or woolly socks, Glee is the show which addresses all angles of the consumer lifestyle shifts that are shaping retail.”
Find out more
Glee is the UK’s leading garden retail show, focusing on building year-round profits for buyers and suppliers within the core gardening and outdoor leisure product categories. To keep up to date on the latest Glee news visit www.gleebirmingham.com. To enquire about exhibiting at Glee 2023, which will take place June 27th – 29th, please call +44 (0)203 3545 9752.