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SOURCE HOME & GIFT OPENS WITH A FOCUS ON QUALITY & NEWNESS

Published: February 7, 2024
Author: Fashion Value Chain

The UK’s leading responsible sourcing show, Source Home & Gift opened yesterday welcoming leading retailers including Longleat, DHL, House of Marbles, PetCo and National Trust for Scotland and many more, sourcing from hundreds of manufacturers and brands delivering newness and quality from around the world with a curated display of on-trend responsibly crafted products.

The February 2024 edition is Source Home & Gift’s third show since launching in 2022, welcoming emerging markets such as Senegal, Ghana and Nepal as they exhibit for the first time, joined by over 400 manufacturers and suppliers from over 25 countries including Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, United Kingdom, and United States – making it the biggest show to date.

New for February 2024, the Source Home & Gift New Product Showcase launched with a display of high quality, on-trend, and responsibly crafted exclusive products from manufacturers and makers. Visitors discovered Kaushalam Creations’ hand-painted ceramics, UniGreen’s Bamboo goods, Jute rugs from SevenSeas, glass-upcyclers Kendaka, handwoven collections from Nokoosh Egypt, long-established décor glass producers Alfagr, mirrors from Zeenat Handcrafts designed to enhance the rustic ambiance of living spaces, and hand-crafted ceramic tableware from South African based Gingham Ceramics.

Suzanne Ellingham, Director of Sourcing at Source Home & Gift says, “There is a genuine need to connect good manufacturers to people that want to do good business. There are lots of businesses that do amazing things…but there’s a real lack of clarity and trust in terms of who those good people are to work with. We’re excited to be debuting the new product showcase area, which really brings together a curated edit of the newness and quality that we have brought to the UK market. It highlights the creativity of the makers and artisans, and the quality of the manufacturers.”

Returning for their third show in a row and now featured in the New Product Showcase, Mrinalika Bhardwaj, Founder of Kaushalam Creations said, ‘’Every Source Home & Gift we’ve been to so far has provided very good business for us, which is the reason we wanted to come back for a third time. For this exhibition we have brought a selection of new designs. We’ve had meetings this morning with customers we arranged before the show, and they have already placed orders.’’

Gingham Ceramics, South-African manufacturer producing hand-made ceramics, are exhibiting for the first time at Source Home & Gift. Christoff Fivaz, Founder said: ‘’There is a lot of variety here and I think there’s a lot of scope for us producing hand-made ceramics to do well here. We’ve met visitors from all over the UK already and I feel positive that this will be a great show for us. We’ve brought new collections and catered them specifically for the UK market, and from next year we’re already planning to bring a lot more modern, contemporary prints.’’

Lee Chapman, Procurement Manager at Prime Engram who visited the show on day one said, ‘’The show looks really good so far, lots of happy people. We’re being approached by lots of exhibitors and have had lots of productive conversations – there’s plenty to choose from.’’

Source Home & Gift’s Responsible Retail Stage opened its seminar programme with ‘Future Global Retail Trends’ led by Kate Shepherd and Matt Parry from The Future Collective. This global retail trend briefing provided a deep dive into the evolution of some of the most influential themes and transitions in retail strategy and design. Parry said, “The retail sector is at a pivotal moment of transformation. As consumer habits continue to evolve in response to the changing dynamics of work and life, so too must the strategies of retailers. The future of retail lies not in the hands of fate but in the ability of businesses to understand and cater to the new rhythms of their customers’ lives. Retailers are already radically shifting budgets towards brand building, reversing a transaction-focused trend. This strategic pivot signals a move from driving temporary sales to forging lasting customer affinity. By investing in their legacies over promo metrics, retailers must embrace creativity and trust.”

“Exploring ten key transitions from Local Legacies, the revival of local traditions and amplifying architectural nuances making way for a new brand of retail design; Micro Curation, the shift toward smaller, more specialised stores in our urban areas in the post-commute society to Recraft, the notion of original craftsmanship being emphasised in retail.”

Circularity continued to be highlighted; “Circular business models have the potential to grow to 23% of the global fashion market by 2030, driven by rising consumer-sustainability awareness, and inflationary pressure squeezing spending power. Retailers developing their own resale platforms stand to gain a revenue stream while those trailing risk cannibalisation of sales to C2C platforms.”

The session also covered the impact of AI, Parry said, “As the world becomes more reliant on technology, retailers must find the perfect balance between art and science; leveraging Al’s benefits in the most valuable way, while not losing sight of the human touch. Immersive technology is driving retail towards new frontiers at speed. The evolution of generative Al in the retail industry is set to move beyond the peripheral and more obvious use cases and influence deeper elements of the retailer’s brand. As generative Al reshapes the retail landscape, sonic branding will become more than just an auditory logo or jingle; it will be an integral part of the brand’s voice and customer experience. Retail companies that understand and invest in the intricate relationship between their sonic identity and Al will be the ones to stand out in a market where digital interactions are the norm.” 

Afterwards, Retail 100’s Daily Intelligence Sessions launched their series of how-to sessions covering the best expertise and advice on ethical and transparent sourcing. Panelled by Anna Berry, Sara Allbright, Neil Amer and Elaine Hooper, Co-Founders and Directors of Retail 100, today’s discussion explored ‘How to source in new regions, a beginner’s guide’, covering everything from far shore vs new shore, regional nuances and the essentials needed for sourcing from sustainable and ethical manufacturers.

Visitors to the show on day two will be treated to a trend session with Jack Stratten, Head of Trends at Insider Trends on ‘Sourcing and storytelling: The selling power of retail transparency.’ As shoppers become increasingly conscious of brand transparency, many retailers are discovering the power of supply chain storytelling. His presentation will examine the consumer trends driving the growth of supply chain storytelling with leading examples from across the world, and will offer tips, tools and insights for visitors to take away and improve storytelling within their business.

There is a lot to be learnt from the fashion industry in regard to waste reduction and upcycling materials, so join SATCoL as they discuss reducing the environmental impact of textiles and the lessons that can be learnt across industries.

The only international sourcing platform of its kind, Source Home & Gift brings together global manufacturers who pride themselves on responsible manufacturing practices, with key retailers, wholesalers, and  brands, who care about how great products are made across eight sectors including Homewares, Toys, Packaging, Stationery & Greetings, Gifts, Furniture, Textiles, and Technology & Services.

Source Home & Gift takes place on the 4th – 7th February at NEC Birmingham. Visit www.source-homeandgift.com for more information.

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