The UK’s longest running Christmas trade show is branching out to take advantage of the growing garden centre and gift market.
Now in its 66th year at Harrogate International Centre (HIC Yorkshire), Harrogate Christmas & Gift 2015 has repeated the success of last year with show organisers citing a trend amongst garden centres to stock more gift items.
Show organiser Simon Anslow said: “A lot of our visitors are from garden centres or visitor attractions whose product ranges are expanding.
“That means we are attracting a wider range of Christmas and gift retailers and therefore bringing in a new range of gift buyers.
“The Halloween market is another area which has exploded in recent years and that’s been reflected in the exhibitors’ product ranges.”
The show was the first major event of 2015 for Harrogate International Centre and its success keeps the pace up following a strong finish to 2014 enjoyed by the North Yorkshire event venue.
Mr Anslow added: “Once again we have had a fantastic show with a lot of new exhibitors. A majority of sellers have reported a very successful event and we look forward to welcoming them back in 2016.”
Exhibitor Johan Frolich, of Jette Frolich Design, said: “We’ve had lots of new and returning customers this year and are pleased that many buyers who have perused our products here in the past, have placed orders with us for the first time.
“We are delighted to have received orders from some of the larger garden centre chains and have taken more orders overall in three days than we did for the entire show last year.”
Highlights of this year’s four-day show, which ran from January 11 to 14, included a presentation to Malcolm Naish of Lema Publishing, who celebrated 50 years of continuous attendance.
Malcolm was presented with an engraved crystal decanter and a bottle of vintage port at the Greatest Christmas Awards, held at the neighbouring Majestic Hotel in Harrogate.
In another reflection of the growing diversification of the show, this year’s awards were hosted by Garden Trade News.