Over 350 international exhibitors from 14 different countries including Bangladesh, China, Germany took part in the second edition of Source Home & Gift, a new responsible sourcing show held in parallel with the Autumn Show at the NEC Birmingham from 3rd to 6th September , Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Uganda, UK, Uzbekistan and Egypt sign deals with key UK retailers, brands and contractors.
Suzanne Ellingham, Sourcing Manager at Source Home & Gift, hailed the show’s success as a vote of confidence in UK retail, as well as showing the resilience of global manufacturers who have survived through the Covid-19 pandemic.
The show is envisioned as a show “that gives brands and retailers access to responsible manufacturers, and one step closer to true transparency in their supply chain,” said Ellingham, her team sourced the best manufacturers from around the world, working closely with global regulators and industry bodies world selected.
Let’s take China, for example, where over 60 percent of the exhibitors come from. Source Home & Gift worked with the Fujian and Zhejiang Provincial Departments of Commerce to bring together some of the most prolific suppliers in specific sectors.
Ceramics was a highlight of this edition thanks to the participation of 15 top manufacturers from Dehua, a county under Quanzhou in Fujian. The area is considered the birthplace of Blanc de Chine due to the city’s long history of world trade, dating back to the Song Dynasty.
Huang Wenjie, a senior adviser to the Dehua County People’s Government, said Dehua’s annual ceramic production value is about 50.2 billion yuan, or $6.8 billion. More than 60 percent of the district’s ceramic products are destined for export. It aims to build a 100 billion renminbi (US$13.6 billion) ceramics industry cluster by 2027.
Another important feature of the fair was the presence of bamboo products from Hunan Province.
According to Li Zhiyong, Level 2 inspector of the Hunan Provincial Forest Service, the demand for such green, low-carbon and sustainable materials has exploded since the global trend of “plastic bans and restrictions” gained momentum. With bamboo forests covering an area of over 12,200 square kilometers, Hunan currently has more than 4,000 bamboo processing plants.
Ellingham added that these issuers are not only best in class but also have certificates allowing them to trade seamlessly under UK regulations.
“I think the buyers who came were really quite surprised that we did due diligence. I always remember having a conversation with a big buyer about a big sourcing fair in Europe and he said he could go there. They could find 15,000 manufacturers they actually wanted to work with, but maybe only one of them made it through the sourcing process. So if you’re asking these people to have the right certification, it means they can probably do business faster,” Ellingham said.
For newcomers, Ellingham says the show offers at least two or three sessions a year on how to sell to UK buyers.
“We talk to them about trends and the mindset of a buyer. These sessions are incredibly useful to them and there is a direct correlation between the companies that attend these sessions and the quality of their show that season. Generally, it’s going to be around three shows before buyers really recognize some of these guys,” Ellingham added.
For more industry insight, Sunday’s show invited Jack Stratten, Head of Trends at Insider Trends, to guide the audience through a variety of case studies on the importance of transparency, conversation, collaboration, accountability and community in the future of retail.
On Monday, Proper Snacks founder Cassandra Stavrou shared her entrepreneurial journey, revealing her ‘Rules of Business’, concrete insights into marketing, sustainability, leadership and more that have propelled her company to over £100m ($125m). . in the sale.
The show attracted shoppers from retailers and brands including Amazon, Disney, Sainsbury’s, M&S, Morrisons, John Lewis, Jojo Maman Bebe, Ohh Deer, Dobbies, Dunelm, Next, B&Q, Card Factory, Ridleys Games and Alzheimer’s Society, a charity , committed to helping end the ravages of dementia.
Mike Dickens, Amazon’s senior program manager, noted that Source Home & Gift “is a great opportunity to meet many potential domestic and international suppliers in one place.” Early face-to-face meetings with suppliers give you a good opportunity to build trust and relationships , before doing business together.”
Claire Bagnall-Hunt, Senior Commercial Trading Executive at the Alzheimer’s Society added: “We are looking for ethical and responsible UK based suppliers, particularly those with on trend products, so we were very interested in participating in Source Home. ” & Gift. “We will definitely be back for the February issue to find even more UK based suppliers.”
One emerging trend Ellingham observed at the show is that buyers are looking to de-risk their portfolio, meaning they “want to work with fewer people and place more orders through them.”
While there have been headlines in recent years about big companies moving production out of China, Ellingham said the reality is that over 90 percent of orders still go to China.
“China is our fourth largest import partner. In the last four quarters we have imported £38 billion [$48 billion] Goods worth from China. So in reality they are an important trading partner. Whatever happens in the media happens in the media, but we see that people still want to work with our manufacturers. For us it’s more about making sure we bring the right people to the show,” she added.
Victor Du, Marketing Director at Made-in-China.com, a Nanjing-based B2B platform that connects millions of global buyers with Chinese manufacturers, noted that British buyers are showing keen interest in products with on-trend color combinations as well as innovative items at competitive price points .
As the first international trade event he has attended since the Covid-19 pandemic, Du brought a number of top-selling products to the fair. He added that the platform is working on curation to help buyers identify great products from millions of listings with the MEI award, a Chinese equivalent of the Red Dot Design Award, Du said.
According to Ellingham, Source Home & Gift was formed after the pandemic to take advantage of the opportunity in the market at a time when “so many manufacturers [are] Their supply chains were disrupted, orders were lost and UK buyers were reluctant to travel as much.”
“Also, among these buyers and consumers, there is an increasing need for products that are better made. So 18 months ago we saw an opportunity to launch something that would create a platform for good manufacturers to sell to people,” she added.
Looking ahead, Ellingham said she wants to make the dishes a defining feature of the next edition. She is also in talks with several other provinces in China, known for high quality silk products and printing capabilities, about relocating some of their top companies to Birmingham.
“The other area that I think is really growing is pet gift giving. We have about 15 manufacturers here, which are among the largest pet gift manufacturers in China. And that’s one of the biggest categories in retail right now. It’s recession-proof. “People in the UK spend as much on their pets as they do on their children,” she added.
All in all, with Source Home & Gift, UK shoppers don’t have to make three trips across the world to find a product. “Maybe this journey is about cementing a relationship,” Ellingham added.
https://sourcingjournal.com/topics/trade-shows/source-home-and-gift-trade-show-responsible-sourcing-china-vendors-amazon-453452/ Great focus on responsible and high-quality sourcing at Source Home + Gift – Sourcing Journal