Spring Fair 2012 - Consumer Trends
Submitted by Hall of Names on Wed, 22/02/2012 - 12:12pm
The Spring Fair at the NEC is the pinnacle of the buying calendar for retailers across the UK. A total of 63,500 buyers attended the show to visit over 3000 exhibitors despite the snow!
For Hall of Names, this is always a great time for us to meet with our current suppliers, our craftsmen who help to create our lovely products, our existing customers and also new contacts who are interested in buying our products for their gift shops.
Whilst our stand is always busy, I do try and make the time to go to some seminars. This year I went to a great presentation by Richard Perks from Mintel about consumer trends in 2012.
The overall picture for retailers isn’t that bad! The Christmas season in 2011 was 6.5% higher than in 2010 – there was a huge surge in spending in the last 10 days and consumers were far more selective in what they bought (perhaps everyone was holding out to see how low retailers would go).
There was a steady upward trend in 2011 of people actively seeking bargains and also doing their shopping with lists, i.e. not impulse buying. From the data collected by Mintel, consumers have dramatically cut back in specific areas such as home wares, furniture, carpets, electricals etc but we are fed up with cutting back any more so we are tending to spend any ‘surplus’ money on what we eat and how we dress, although the fashion market for younger customers is definitely suffering.
The internet is often blamed for the suffering of the high street and it’s interesting to note that only 9% of all retail sales go through the web with much of that going through established retailers, whether high street or catalogue based.
And, it isn’t the young that do all their spending online – the 25-44 year age group is the ones that are shopping online, possibly because they are more time pressured. Mintel predicts that Christmas 2012 will be no worse for retailers than 2011 but the Jubilee/Olympics/Football will be bad news for retail as we will be watching the telly rather than shopping. The upside of this is that it will boost consumer confidence.
The overall mood at the Spring Fair was upbeat - many exhibitors we spoke to had a good show and the general mood is not that of doom and gloom!
For Hall of Names it was certainly our best year at the Spring Fair, with lots of enquiries from Gift Shops, Castles, and Online Retailers – we look forward to working with you all!
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