The mood on the floor of the Melbourne Gift Fairs over the weekend was upbeat, positive. Plenty of retailers had stories of trading success and an optimistic view of the rest of 2022 and into 2023.
There was no talk of recession, none of the mood reflecting new coverage re falling consumer confidence, no discussion about concerns over interest rates. There has also been plenty of good news about product availability.
And, this is from a mix of retailers, from folks owning and running gift shops, jewellers, newsagents, garden centres and more. These gift fairs attract a broad range of retailers.
The other comments from people who also attended the Sydney fair earlier this year is that this Melbourne event is far superior. Some of the suppliers with booths made the same comments.
While the event has three days to go – which it at least a day too long – it’s already a success according to some I have heard from based on their buying (retailers) and based on sales (suppliers).
Side events have been going well too. These are events on at the same time, designed to leverage the influx of retailers in Melbourne for the fair.
The organisers of the various fairs, AHGA, Reed and Life InStyle should be happy with the results. They have created trade events that retailers are enjoying.
The only downside, or risk, is the lack of mask-wearing.
This event could be more successful if it closed at 5pm each day, instead of 6 and if it was a day shorter. Those two changes could make it a more enjoyable event for suppliers in my view, and I say that as an owner of a company that has exhibited at the event for years.