Report from the Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival in Harrogate

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This week, I’ve made the journey north to visit and speak at the Home & Garden Buyers’ Festival in Harrogate. It’s one of those big fairs for retailers where they can get inspiration for the year ahead on what to sell. That’s why there’s plenty of Christmas, general winter stuff and Easter related goods for sales despite the blazing Yorkshire sunshine. Around 14k people are said to have attended the trade show. There was certainly a tangible buzz of business being quietly done.

Several things impressed me about the exhibition. Firstly, it is huge and takes several huge spaces at the conference centre in Harrogate but also some outdoors pavilions and also the basement of the Majestic hotel. I certainly got nowhere near to getting around the whole exhibition. And even then, there is an astonishing array of things up for sale by suppliers. Everything from cuddly toys, russian dolls, pots of ceramics, jewellery, lots of cushions, a really surprising number of cushions, toys, some clothes and accessories and that barely scratches the surface.

I was surprised learn the the show has been running for 57 years, but it’s hardly surprising because it is a really good source of inspiration. Plenty of people ask us at Tamebay: “what should I sell?” Now, that’s a question that we can never answer and not many fellow sellers will reveal their secret sources either. The answer is to come to events like these to see what available and sound out the prices.

So put it in the calendar for next year, the dates are set at the same venue for the 15th to 18th July.

One Response

  1. I have been to home and gift many times over the years so have got to know lots of the traders.

    It appears that most of the exhibitors said business was VERY slow. They have said sales have got less and less each year. This along with the fact that the organizers have stated fees will be increasingly massively next year, at least 3 of the traders told me they couldn’t afford to come back.

    When I arrived yesterday, I was driving past looking for a parking space. I looked over at the entrance to the show and jokingly said ‘have we got the wrong day?’ There was hardly anyone around the entrance which is usually very busy

    I don’t know the reason is was slow but would guess that it was down to the uncertain economy.

    I really don’t understand why the organizers are putting the prices us massively.

    The organizers had already closed one section down due to lack of traders. I would guess next year there will be even less.

    Out of all the trade shows, harrogate is my personal favorite. I can’t see it continuing unless the organizers start offering incentives to traders NOT by hiking prices up.

    I placed 2 orders. 1 for myself and. one small order (£100) with a trader is bought from before.


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