More than 300 exhibitors displayed their goods for a trade-only crowd of attendees. Tauranga-based Jenz Studio’s handmade ceramic goods stood out in Hall 1. Director Tom Watt and creative director Jenny Watt said around 30 per cent of their range was made in New Zealand, and they offered a separate imported range, George & Co, as well.
“I suppose it’s a bit unusual because you don’t often see people competing with their own product like that,” Tom Watt says.
Auckland furniture and lighting wholesaler CC Interiors was also exhibiting, just over a year on from a disasterous fire which destroyed everything in its St John warehouse and showroom.
Retail NZ set up a stall in Hall 3, offering discounted memberships to attendees.
Show organisers Brent Spillane and Tony Waite said the New Zealand Gift Trade Association had been meeting with Retail NZ more often in recent months to better foster relations between the two associations, find common ground on legislative issues which impact the retail and gift trade industries and build more educational opportunities into the fairs.
Associate professor of retail management at Massey University, Dr Jonathan Elms, was the keynote speaker at the fair. His seminar was presented by Retail NZ, and he spoke about how retailers can proactively build their businesses through education.
Spillane and Waite said that while visitor numbers were still being audited, early indications were that the show had been popular: "Overall this year’s Autumn Gift & Homewares Fair has been a huge success and continues the tradition of 30 years bringing together retailer buyers with wholesalers across the nation."
They cited a report commissioned last year which showed the 2014 Autumn Gift & Homewares Fair had huge influence over market trends, with attendees' combined purchasing power topping $226 million. The average spending power of each attendee was $51,141, and 98 percent of those who went to the show could claim to influence purchasing decisions in their company.