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In hot sunshine, rather than Glasgow's usual inclement January weather, Scotland's Trade Fair returned to the SEC in Glasgow with a fantastic range of suppliers and products.
Buyers were delighted with the quality of products, the huge number of new suppliers and the general level of innovation and originality of products. And being back at an in-person Show was widely welcomed by visitors as they could see and touch the products and connect with the suppliers in person.
Yvonne Carr, Visit Scotland Buyer said: "This Show is so important for us to source and support Scottish producers and we have loved seeing so many new companies. The Show is just not long enough for us to complete all our buying!"
Visitor attendance was down on previous years, primarily due to the high rate of Covid infection in Scotland, the postponement of the show from January to March, and the clash with Mother's Day.
However, the mood at the Show was upbeat with most exhibitors glad about the quality of the buyers and enjoying the chance to re-connect with fellow suppliers and see old and new customers in person.
Archie Macdonald from The Highland Soap Company said: "The Show has been good for us with many orders but most of all we have enjoyed seeing many customers whom we have not seen for two years. If we hadn't been here we would have missed many great opportunities."
The Best Product Awards, sponsored by The Giftware Association, were judged on the opening morning of the Show by retail experts Linda Birkbeck from House of Bruar, Catherine McGurk from Glasgow Museums and Sarah Ward, Chief Exec of the Giftware Association. They were impressed with the quality of many of the entries, especially from newer younger companies.Linda Birkbeck said: "The winners naturally stood out from the rest with quality, desirable products that retailers would want to stock. Many showed real innovation in what they were producing which is so good to see."
Show Director Mark Saunders said: "Despite numerous challenges we were delighted to be able to host Scotland's Trade Fair once again. A lower attendance was expected but we were pleased that the buyers who attended were all ordering confidently for the year ahead even if the economic outlook remains challenging."