Totally Shows organiser Brintex has established from its post 2014 show research, and a recent meeting with its Advisory Panel, that independent retailers are at the top of its priority list for 2015.
“The purpose of our exhibition is to bring buyers and sellers together face to face, which is what the shows have been doing now for 21 years. However, the DIY retail market is now so polarised, with the largest market share resting solely with a few big national retailers (B&Q, Homebase and Wickes) it is vital that suppliers also have a good base of independent retailer business. So, more than ever suppliers would love to see lots of independent retailers visiting the show in 2015!” said show director Paul Grinsell.
The shows’ visitor research also revealed that independent retailers want to be able to meet up with the teams behind the industry’s big brands and hear from them what their new products are, and how they intend to market them, so that they can stock up in good time, as well as meeting names new to the market.
“One of the biggest dilemmas the larger suppliers face is managing interest and any orders from independent retailers. In reality, very few of the industry’s big brands would handle business from independent retailers directly – most often their query would be forwarded to a third party agent or wholesaler to handle, who looks after the area the retailer is based in.
“Retailers understand this, but they still want to make direct contact with the team who are actually running the brand and hear from them what the new launches for the year are and whether they can look forward to any ‘independents only’ promotions,” commented Paul.
“Equally, suppliers must take on the task of passing back any interest to their third parties, and following up with the retailers to check that contact has been made – we hear too often from visiting retailers that they never hear back from suppliers they have sought out at the show, and understandably, they feel they have been dismissed by the supplier for not being large enough for them.”
The Totally Shows team is currently talking to its key supporters at the British Hardware Federation (BHF), Home Hardware, Mica DIY and Stax to discuss how best to attract their members, all independent retailers, to the show, and will also be working closely with the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) on getting the message out to its supplier members that independent retailers will be well looked after!
In line with their key purpose of matching buyers and sellers, the shows are currently finalising a quirky, fun promotional campaign for its 2015 outing which will utilise an ‘I Love DIY & Tools’ theme.
In addition, the shows have purchased and registered a website called Business-Match.Com, which will also feature in the upcoming advertising campaign and feature as an event at the shows. Look out for more information in the autumn!
To date exhibitor bookings for the 2015 shows are running slightly ahead of last year, with 48% equivalent of the 2014 space already booked.
“We have a great deal to build on in 2015,” said Paul. “The shows’ first co-location with the DIY Week Awards ceremony this year worked well and will help to establish the shows as a business and social focal point in the industry calendar – we will certainly be building on that for 2015,” said Paul.
The 2015 Totally DIY and Totally Tools Shows will run from Sunday, 15th to Tuesday, 17th February at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
For more information please contact Paul Grinsell on 020 7973 4734.