The Exclusively Show 2021, which took place at The Business Design Centre, Islington on 24th and 25th August exceeded the expectations of the organising team and exhibitors in terms of both the quality and quantity of attendees, resulting in a very positive event full of happy visitors and exhibitors. This was the view of Will Jones, Chief Operating Officer at BHETA and Chair of Exclusively as well as many colleagues in the industry, amply backed by both the statistics and the individual feedback.
Over the two days of the Show, there were more people present than in 2019 creating a fabulous buzz. Will acknowledged that exhibitors did bring more people than normal as they saw the event as an opportunity to get the industry back together after lockdown. While visitor numbers were slightly down on 2019, this was only to be expected with the decision having been taken not to invite either overseas buyers or overseas media as a Covid-19 precaution, combined with the show’s postponement to peak holiday season.
Exhibitors were overwhelmed by the quality of UK visitors which was evident across retailer and media visitors with many first time attendees. Will said: “I’m still on a high after all the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the exhibitors at the Exclusively Show, and the fabulous visitor support.”
Exclusively has a proven track record for enabling brands to get in front of buyers and the media, as well as an established record for predicting trends, and in what was the first face to face gathering for the housewares, small domestic electricals and gift sectors for almost eighteen months, retailers from a wide range of industry sectors visited the show.
There were many independent specialists, a good proportion of whom took up the bira voucher offer as they placed orders at the show. Typical feedback from Lisa Taylor of Brambles cookshop was “The show was really worthwhile and extremely well organised”.
The Brand Showcase
The Brand Showcase – a curated edit of the show for media – also proved immensely popular as did the Trends area in which trend forecaster, Scarlet Opus both illustrated and talked about the key trends from now through Christmas 2021 and over the next two to three years, using exhibitor products as examples of the key themes which will influence both buyers and media. Scarlet Opus also took key buyers on trends tours of the show, tying in trends with specific ‘must-have’ product listings.
The Brand Showcase attracted both tradition consumer and trade media including as well as an enthusiastic host of well-established consumer influencers. Media visitors included This Morning, Olive and BBC Good Food as well as many mainstream consumer titles. From the influencer community, perhaps inevitably given the nature of the pandemic, the ‘cleanfluencers’ brought great energy to proceedings with names like Lyndsey Queen of Clean, Crazycleaningcrawford, mancleany, Officially Hinched, Cleanigram, MrsHinchHome, CleaningwithLuicy and many more all in attendance.
In the Trends area, several themes struck a particular chord with buyers with ‘Neo Luxe’ being particularly popular. The most talked about examples were the vibrantly coloured Swan products, in particular the Gatsby Range, with kettles in Rich Teal and Emerald Green.
Another highlight was a new product created by A365 – a concept saucepan for 2022 blending, stainless steel with brass handle. Its unique in that the touch points are made of brass and therefore maximises the anti-microbial properties of copper and its alloys.
Tabletop made a strong return to the show, with popular new exhibitors including Katie Alice, Pure Tableware and Lazarro. Nina Tawill from Katie Alice said, “We‘ve had an amazing show and we’ve been really happy to see some familiar faces again, and to meet some new faces. We’re extremely happy with how the show has gone.”
Some of the most talked about products selected for the Trend Awards were:
• Ladelle – Ladelle’s AURORA Recipe Shaker from Neo Luxe
• Black + Blum’s Stainless Steel Lunchboxes with Olive silicone bands, in the Reset trend
• Sabichi with the Kettle from the Haden “Dorchester Sage Green Collection”, also in the Reset trend
• Denby’s “Statements Collection” was a standout in the Neo Luxe trend
• David Mason Designs had the “Pressed Flowers” collection with colourways that featured in the Reset and Togetherness trends
• Meyer’s “Prestige” Eco Pan Collection were another standout in the Reset trend
Steve Richardson, Marketing Manager, added: “Exclusively has always been must-see event in the home enhancement industry – and so the 2021 show proved. With numbers of exhibitors and visitors this high, we can honestly say that from a commercial point of view, it certainly felt that it was back to business as usual. With over 130 companies and 200 brand names exhibiting, as other features such as the Trend Tours and Talks with Scarlet Opus sold out, the housewares. SDA and gift sectors certainly rose to the occasion.”
A spokesperson for RKW said: “Everyone at RKW appreciated the warm welcome back to Exclusively. The turnout of national accounts and independents was incredible to see, allowing the team to catch up with our valued customers in person and introduce our incredible brand portfolio to new faces. The show has been a much-needed return to business normality for all of us.”
A fantastic turnout of multiples from all sectors included:
• Aldi, Asda, Tesco, Waitrose, Iceland Foods, Morrisons, Sainsburys
• Amazon, eBay, Groupon, MADE.com, Ocado, The Hut Group, The Very Group, La Redoute, Studio Retail Ltd
• B&M, Costco, Home Bargains, Matalan, The Original Factory Shop
• B&Q, Home Hardware, Wickes
• Beales, Dawson’s, Harrods, Fenwick, Hoopers, John Lewis, Leekes, Marks & Spencer, Selfridges, Ulster Stores
• Bents, Blue Diamond, Dobbies
Homewares & Small Electricals
• DSG Currys, Dunelm, Lakeland, ProCook, Furniture World, Next, Robert Dyas
“Fantastic that Exclusively is back – a brilliant show and always worth a visit. I would encourage anyone that hasn’t been to make sure they attend the next one!” Elaine Hooper, Cookshop Buyer, John Lewis.