Leading with design

January's edition of Top Drawer was a positive start to the year, with a wide variety of gifting to fit any store.

Leading with design: Image 1 Presenting its strongest selection of brands to date and the highest calibre of buyers, Top Drawer opened the show season with a lively buzz and positive outcome for the retail market. The show reported a high quality of buyers, and more than 1,500 brands had the opportunity to put their ranges in front of some of retail's most significant names. Amongst those in attendance were UK department stores Liberty, Fenwick, Selfridges, Harrods and John Lewis. Global retail powerhouses also visited the show, with buyers from WestWing Now, Le Bon Marché, Tribe Dubai and BergdorfGoodman attending. Buyers visited from across Europe and as far afield as Japan, Saudi Arabia, Korea, the UAE, New Zealand and Australia.

Jayne Hacking from Lancashire-based home and gift shop Bolthole Gifts, commented: “The variety of brands was exceptional this year, from first-time craft makers with a few speciality pieces to huge exhibitors like Coach House and Nkuku offering such a width and depth of products with amazing styling displays. I particularly enjoyed SPOTTED this season. It was a lovely mixture of different brands and suppliers that felt like they had been curated especially for me and my store. It was a pleasure, and I spent more money at this show than I have at any previous show.”

These sentiments were echoed by Alan Harnik, owner of Notes & Queries, one of the U.S.'s premier greetings cards and stationery distributors, who said: “Notes and Queries has long been a supporter of Top Drawer. We come here every January to get a curated, design-led view of some of the best UK greetings card companies. Over the years, we have met with our existing trading partners, as well as having found treasures which we now distribute. I would recommend the show to UK retailers, as well as overseas distributors.”

Managing director of A Weathered Penny Joe Carter added: “Top Drawer has opened up our brand to a whole new audience. The mix of buyers is fantastic; from large department stores and small independent retailers to global brands, Top Drawer pulls in buyers from all over!”

Fiona Bovingdon-Bryant, sales director of Coach House, said: “We've had a really positive show this season, which has been reflected in some of our highest trade show figures we've seen at past London shows.”

Angela Blundell, director of wholesale for UK and EMEA for Australian brand Sunnylife, added: “January's edition of Top Drawer was a great show for us. We had a steady flow of buyers, with a good mix of excellent indie boutiques, UK buyers and international buyers, as well as some of our existing stockists who were able to view our new ranges.”

The Cardy Club scooped a PaperAward at this year's show. Design director Natasha Carty made her Top Drawer debut, saying: “Last year, I visited the show, was blown away by the talent and decided to exhibit! It's been great to launch at Top Drawer. We've had lots of leads, several repeat orders and interest from a whole slew of buyers.” The show featured 11 curated sectors, spreading across the entirety of Olympia. The mix of brands across the lifestyle spectrum attracted a diversity of retailers, from concept stores, museum shops, boutiques and independents to multiple retailers, garden centres and supermarkets. TABLE was given a new location this year, complemented by the new Hospitality Trail. This led to an increase in hospitality professionals, contract buyers and interior designers at the show. MR., the new design trail dedicated to men's products, attracted buyers from Liberty, Eclectic Hound, Lewes Atelier and Black by Design.

Robin James, founder of Men's lifestyle blog Man for Himself, said: “MR. is such a great addition to Top Drawer London. I was really impressed by the brands and think that it can only get bigger and better next season!”.

The next edition of Top Drawer takes place at the Olympia London from the 8th-10th September, 2019, and will be co-located with Pulse.

For more information or to register for the September edition, visit www.topdrawer.co.uk

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