Summer in Scotland has brought not only fine weather but record numbers of foreign tourists. The combination of these visitors and a weak pound has increased both footfall and spend in many of Scotland’s tourist destinations, attractions and their gift shops. This resulted in a very positive mood at Scotland’s Trade Fair Autumn this week as retailers looked to replenish stock and seek new lines for the busy final quarter of the year.
Despite a small drop in visitor numbers to the Show, many exhibitors wrote some decent pre-Christmas orders, took new leads, met with existing suppliers and made many new friends across the industry. The intimate, friendly nature of this Show is particularly enjoyed by the exhibitors who find it vital to showcase their products for last minute Christmas season ordering.
The new exhibitors attracted much attention, with many visitors heading straight to the innovative Launch Gallery where producers such as Cascayde, Sandra Vick, Silver Sparrow Jewellery, Clarabella Christie and many more launched their products, sometimes for the first time to the trade. Elsewhere in the Show Bawbags underwear took many orders, as did Deborah Cameron’s small Christmas ornaments and gifts, Urban Outline, Gingerwick and By Mollie and Izzie. The Giftware Association members were also in attendance with new chairman Jeremy Corner introducing his bamboo cups to the Scottish market.
Emma Cawley from Gingerwick and A Little Tin Of said: “Our products are ideal for the tourist market and have literally flown off the shelves in the Scottish tourist areas, such as Skye, Orkney and the north coast. We have taken many orders from small independent gift and tourist shops at this Show, which will keep us incredibly busy until the new year.”
Despite the tough retail climate, the atmosphere at the Show was generally optimistic amongst buyers and exhibitors. Gemma McQue, Buyer from the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) said: “The NTS has had a phenomenal summer as tourists have flocked to Scotland. This Show has been excellent as we use it to plan our 2019 stock and I find there is never enough time to see all the people we want.”
Show Director Mark Saunders added: “High street retail is not easy but we’re lucky in Scotland to have many independent gift shops, farm shops and tourist shops which attract customers from far afield. With such a decent summer buyers were keen to re-stock in time for Christmas and we all look forward to a profitable Christmas season.”
Scotland’s Trade Fair Autumn 2019 will be held from 22-23 Sept 2019.