Spring fair looks ahead to 2025

Spring Fair, the UK’s largest retail marketplace for Home, Gift and Fashion, closed on a high after four days of intensive buying, creativity and fun, and now looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in 2025

floral stainless steel water bottles Jackson Szabo, Portfolio Director, Spring Fair said, "I have been blown away by the energy, passion and community at Spring Fair during the last four days. The feedback and stories from buyers, exhibitors, and partners have highlighted just how integral this show is to the retail calendar. As well as the day job of buying, it enables the retail industry to come alive with inspiration, innovation, knowledge and networking. All of our new experiences and activations across the show floor, and the awe-inspiring content on the three stages, have been very well received and I've also loved the sense of fun our exhibitors bring – I've seen people dressed as sheep, sharks, dogs, naughty elves, and of course Peppa Pig!

"We're now very excited to look forward to 2025 as we celebrate 75 years as the Home, Gift and Fashion industry's most established and inventive buying show."

Many exhibitors were celebrating milestone anniversaries this year, and were all hand delivered a birthday cake from Spring Fair organisers Hyve. Lotus Imports celebrates 60years, Verma Enterprises is 40, Enesco and Garden Trading are 30, Talking Tables celebrate 25 years, Laura Darrington Designs hit 20, Berni Parker Designs celebrates its 15th year, and Academie, Raspberry Blossom, Tache, Louise Tiler, Pickmotion, and Rush Design all reached double figures.

From Sunday to Wednesday, the UK's longest serving retail show attracted thousands of buyers from retailers including John Lewis, Asda, Fortnum & Mason, Tesco, Aldi UK, Elphicks, Cards Galore, Costcutter, TK Maxx, Mint Velvet, RAF association, NEXT, World Duty Free, Squirrels UK, Yarnton Home and Garden, Claire's Accessories, Willows Activity Farm, Smiffy's, Clintons, Macmillan, Wayfair, Harrods, National Trust, Blue Diamond, Fenwick, Laura Ashley, Merlin Entertainment, WHSmith, RSPCA, Warner Bros, TJX Europe, Creaseys, Hallmark, Card Factory, B&Q, Costco, Natural History Museum, and Dobbies Garden Centre, Denby Retail, McElhinneys, and many more, all sourcing for new products and looking for the competitive edge.

paddington bear print clip purse The licensing business delivered a big impact on the show floor with thousands of trend-led licensed products including gifts, collectables, toys, clothing, beauty and housewares featuring Disney characters, Harry Potter, Winnie the Pooh, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Marvel, Barbie, Paddington, Peter Rabbit, Frozen, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Star Wars, as well as TV personalities such as Mary Berry, Olly Smith and interior household names including Terence Conran, Catherine Lansfield, Cath Kidston, Sara Miller, and William Morris.

Some of the exhibitors who brought their licensed products to life at the show include Widdop & Co, Captivate Brands, Pure Tabletop, Riva Home, TY UK, Whitehouse Leisure, Fizz Creations, Paladone, Sting in the Tale, Half Moon Bay, Lasgo, Star Images Enterprise, Blue Sky Studios, The English Ladies Co, Heroes Inc, Rock Off Retail, The Source Wholesale, The Carat Shop, Infinity Brands, Enesco, Pyramid International, Spike Leisurewear, Heathcote & Ivory and The English Soap Company.

Stephen Illingworth, Director, Widdop & Co said, "Spring Fair 2024 has been great with such a refreshing buzz, and it has re-emphasised its role as the biggest, best and only show in the UK for exhibitors and visitors alike to source the greatest range of all products to kick start the year!"

Feedback throughout the show indicated high quality footfall, new customers, and a buzzing atmosphere, with many exhibitors reporting their best show ever.

Dame Zandra Rhodes giving a talk on stage The line-up for the final day included a fireside chat with British fashion and textile designer and pioneer Dame Zandra Rhodes, more masterclasses covering creator collaborations, talent retention, customer reviews and AI on the Masterclass Studio in partnership with TikTok Shop; and an all-day trend takeover from The Future Collective on the Trend Talks stage. Retail Design For Better – For People, Planet & Business will welcome a host of exciting speakers presenting invaluable case studies on the principles of designing for better.

Dame Zandra Rhodes took to the Inspiring Retail Stage to a packed audience and talked through her journey in design with a career spanning over five decades. From launching her own collection of chiffon kaftans in 1969, opening her first store on Bond Street in 1977 to her many collaborations with the likes of Ikea and Happy Socks. Talking about her favourite collection Rhodes commented, "I loved my collections in the 70s with all the beautiful flowing chiffons. I have enjoyed the adventure into fashion and being involved in whole process of design."

When asked what her stand out career moment was Rhodes said, "I really enjoyed dressing Freddie Mercury. He came to my studio in Bayswater in 1974. I put a white pleated top on him and told him to move around the room to see how he felt in it. This later became used in an iconic image that we still see everywhere today."

Her thoughts on future of fashion, "I think the way the world is going, we have to think of everything being adjustable and use things in different way so they last. We can't keep using the world's resources. We need to treasure what we have and work with it."

Offering advice to the visitors at Spring Fair, Rhodes said, "Never give up! The world might be changing so you hope we'd adapt to it. We have to take advantage of the opportunities that come along and run with it. You should always surround yourself with positive friends who encourage you to try new things and be experimental. It is better to aim for something and you might reach for the stars than regret it for the rest of your life."

lots of people walking around a busy trade show Inspiration continued on the Trend Talks stage championing pioneers shaping the retail industry's future, as The Future Collective hosted the day's sessions. The overarching ethos across the day's sessions is how designing for better can be a force for good, influencing industries and societies worldwide, and harnessing creativity for a brighter future.

Spring Fair returns for its 75th edition from 2nd – 5th February 2025, visit www.springfair.com

Autumn Fair 2024 takes place from 1st – 4th September at NEC Birmingham. Visit www.autumnfair.com for more information.

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