The Harrogate Convention Centre came alive on Sunday July 16 as the opening of Home & Gift 2023 saw thousands of retailers flock to the start of this year’s four-day event.
Strong visitor pre-registration – that included a 21% increase in department stores and a 6% increase in galleries and museums – was evident on-site, with a combined buying budget of over £300 million from the show’s first-day attendees.
These retailers found more than 500 exhibitors across six curated sectors, and over 150 brands making their show debut – presenting them with an abundance of choice as they sourced products for their A/W23 offerings.
Despite uncertain weather conditions, enthusiastic crowds arrived throughout the day, and the show’s seven halls were brimming with an array of homewares, gifts, culinary infusions and statement accessories. The venue was abuzz with excitement as industry professionals gathered from all corners to connect and discover the latest trends.
Through their on-going collaboration with The Better Trends Company, the design for this year’s show takes inspiration from the Modern Psychedelic trend, presenting groovy, carefree vibes as it transports visitors back to the Summer of Love.
Home & Gift is well known for its relaxed summer feel, making this 1960s-inspired creative the perfect match for the festival-styled trade show, as well as reflecting consumers’ ever-growing desire to embrace the positivity and creativity synonymous with that era.
The opening day proved to be a resounding success for suppliers including a “record-breaking Sunday” for The Art File, with sales and marketing manager James Mace especially pleased with 10 new accounts being opened. Fountasia owner Michael Weedon concurred: “The first day has exceeded all expectations – the quality of buyers here has been fantastic.” Stephanie Davies of Stephanie Davies added: “We had a tremendous Sunday, with orders placed within minutes of the doors opening.”
Every year, Home & Gift attracts a diverse and engaged audience of buyers from top independents, department stores, and leading garden centres, and this edition has already seen thousands of exciting introductions made, and new accounts opened.
Buyers from Barkers, Baxters, Birkacre Nurseries, Burghley House, Card Zone, Clarences, Cornucopia Worcester, Creaseys, De Beers Garden Centre, Donnie Garden Centres, Five And Dime, Hilton, Hoopers, Longacres Garden Centre, Magenta Trends, Mooch Ealing, NHS, Osprey Gifts, Poppies Garden Centre, Presents and Correct, Ransoms Garden Centre, Sally Bourne Interiors, Scotsdales Garden Centre, Skolles, Squires Garden Centres, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Threads of Harpenden, University of Leeds, Vinegar Hill, and Wentworth Garden Centre have already been in attendance, with thousands more still set to be welcomed.
Exhibitors and retailers had the opportunity to toast the day’s success at the festival’s popular Sundowners drinks evening, which saw the winner of the Gift of the Year’s People’s Choice Award announced.
Fox Under The Moon founder Stacey McNeill and director Jamie McNeill collected the coveted prize from for their “amazing Whimsical Books” from The Giftware Association CEO Sarah Ward and Clarion Retail portfolio director Zoe Bonser.
Show manager David Westbrooke commented: “What an amazing start to the show – Home & Gift is always a special event, but it’s been fantastic to see so many happy faces already! With over 150 new exhibitors, there’s an incredible amount to discover this year, and that’s reflected in the feedback we’ve already received from visitors and exhibitors alike. With more days to come, there’s still plenty of time for retailers to discover what all the fuss is about for themselves!”