A total of 1,969 retailers visited the show, representing an increase of 8.6% on the number who attended PATS Harrogate 2012. The total number of visitors even outstripped that of PATS Sandown in March, which was itself a record-breaking event that had welcomed 1,847 visitors.
The feeling from the 167 companies exhibiting was very positive, and this year’s show proved to be a real boost for the pet industry.
Suzanne Rothman, of Pet Munchies, summed up the feeling by saying:
“This is our fourth PATS and it is by far the best yet. By noon on the first day we had taken the equivalent amount orders of past shows put together. The retailers we spoke to were in a very positive frame of mind because of better trading conditions so we are well pleased with the outcome.”
And Paul Clarke, of CJs Cat Litter admitted: “We’ve had lots of new leads, with many of them coming from overseas and Southern Ireland, which is a real bonus for us.”
PATS newcomer Seahorse Atlantic was another company which attracted interested from overseas buyers with Germany and Finland interested in distribute their range of supplements. “I’m based in Ireland and the trip has certainly proved worthwhile with the amount of leads I’ve got,” said founder Sarah O’Sullivan.
Chris Rudd, of Pet Angel, found PATS to be the ideal place to launch the company’s new grooming product. “It was launched only four days before the show so there was no better place to unveil it. We’ve had lots of positive feedback and professional groomers love it.”
Meanwhile Gerard Lovell, Forthglade said: “It has been an excellent show for us. Our pet food is causing a lot of interest and retailers wanted to find out more. The flow of visitors to our stand has been steady for both days, which we liked, and we are delighted to have grown our number of Northern retailers.”
Despite the serious side of clinching new orders Marriages wanted to inject a bit of fun into their stand. “Visitors seemed to like our approach,” said Lisa Osborne. “We had balloons, a video screen, floor tiles and other devices to entice people to come and see us, and it has worked. We’ve had lots of positive feedback from retailers.”
And visitors were happy too. Lionel Partridge, Jurassic Park Pet Shop, Downham Market, Norfolk, said: “We opened our shop only six weeks ago and this PATS has helped us to decide the products we should be stocking. Seeing everything under one roof is an added bonus.”