An atmosphere of optimism resonated throughout the halls of Glee during September’s show. Following a buoyant spring and summer season, with many garden retailers experiencing strong growth in key categories, an upbeat trading atmosphere prevailed, underpinning the garden retail sector’s resilience to economic headwinds in the run-up to Brexit.
According to organisers Glee 2019 raised the bar in terms of innovation and creativity and drew praise for both the quality of visitors and an increasing international contingent, too.
Glee Event Director, Matthew Mein, commented: “Glee is firmly established as the networking opportunity in the retail calendar and this year’s show was tailored to meet the needs of visitors with demanding schedules. Feedback helps us to fine tune Glee and, following consultation with all partners, Glee moved seamlessly into a new Tuesday to Thursday slot this year – a decision taken in response to feedback from retail visitors. This move allowed those in the retail trade to focus on post-weekend trading and stock replenishment on the Monday, ahead of visiting Glee – a move that resulted in an upbeat opening to the show, allowing buyers to focus on networking and meetings without interruption.
“The new Glee Connect matchmaking service helped exhibitors and visitors to strike meaningful connections with ease. Using AI technology, the connect platform was able to give all parties a higher return on time invested in their visit. Elsewhere rebooking for the 2020 event reached 61% during the show, as brands look to secure their investment in the coming seasons. In general the 2019 event saw strong numbers across the board. Including revisits, over 7,800 people visited the show, with visitors coming from over 40 countries. 40% of visitors were new to Glee, with retail buyers with sole purchasing responsibility seeing an increase of 14% year-on-year. 22% of all visitors also had a purchasing budget over £1million, meaning orders books were quick to fill and meaningful retail partnership conversation were the order of the day.
“We are very grateful to all of our sponsors, especially our gold sponsors Woodlodge, Scheurich, Meadow View Stone, BPI Products, Ivyline and Hozelock, who together helped to transform the Retail Lab from an ambitious concept into a futuristic showcase for modern merchandising,” he added.