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Totally Shows – Matching Buyers and Sellers for 21 successful years

As the Totally Shows closed on Tuesday (February 17th), visitor data revealed strong support from across the industry, with buying teams in from the biggest DIY retailers, great representation from the UK’s high street hardware retailers, and decorative, timber and builders merchants all adding to the mix.

The overall feel of the show was positive and optimistic, with many exhibitors commenting on the good quality of the leads they were picking up. This year marks the 21st time the Totally DIY & Totally Tools trade shows have run, and their third year at the popular Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

The show had a total of 111 stands (up from 102 in 2014) representing over 150 exhibitors and key brands from across the DIY, hardware and tool sectors, with nearly 100 new products entered into the New Product Showcase area – so plenty for visitors to take a look at and consider for the upcoming season.

The shows’ new Innovation Zone – hosted by the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) – was declared a ‘massive success’ by BHETA’s DIY director Peter Stone.

“Everyone involved with the Innovation Zone has enjoyed an exceptional three days. The area has been well attended and all the exhibitors will leave with some great leads and offers of support and sales to follow up – we’ll be very happy to support this area again next year,” said Peter.

The New Product Showcase area and Best New Product Awards, sponsored by Insight DIY, also caught the visitors’ imagination this year, as they were challenged to ‘Visitor Vote’ for their favourite new product on the display. The majority concurred with this year’s award judges who also picked out the same product, Darlac’s new Tri-Blade Shears, for the Best Garden Award gold.

The other award winners were; Best DIY Product, the gold was awarded to Marxman Ltd for its new MarXman ‘toolbox companion’, with the silver going to the Youngman Group for their new Click Fix 26 loft ladder; Best Hardware Product, the gold went to AW Tools Europe for its Flexy Door Safety, with Isagi Ltd collecting the silver for its Stayput Antimicrobial Bath & Shower Matts; Best Decorative Product, the gold was awarded to Chemfix Products Ltd for its Metolux Styrene Free Wood Filler Range; Best Security Product, the gold went to Switched On Products Ltd for its easy fit Light Switch Timer, with silver given to Rolson Tools Ltd and its 9 SMD Motion Sensor Light; Best Tool Product, the gold award was given to Condaco for its new Tilt Wrench, with the silver collected by Dripless Inc for its Dripless Composite Caulking Gun, and finally, in the gardening category, the silver was awarded to Chaselink UK Ltd for its ergonomic Handigger.

In addition to the new Visitor Vote award, Insight DIY also introduced a ‘Best Made in the UK’ award this year. Rustins Ltd was the first company to win this with their new Textured Decking Oil.

Steve Collinge, managing director of Insight Retail Group, was delighted with the number and quality of entries the Awards and Showcase area received. “The breadth of ideas represented in the New Product Showcase proves that suppliers are working hard, post-recession, to come up with new ideas that will generate turnover for retailers. Much of the best innovation is coming from the smaller companies, not just established sector suppliers. We’re looking forward to seeing how the winning products perform this season and setting the challenge again next year to reveal new thinking and new products for the market!” commented Steve.

The shows’ focus on seeking out and rewarding genuine innovation was reinforced by the DIY Week Awards evening which ran on the middle night of the exhibition.

“The Awards evening was very enjoyable,” commented Paul Grinsell, the shows’ director. “It was particularly nice to see so many retailers who responded to our special independent’s hospitality package enjoying the opportunity to catch up with their peers and suppliers, help raise some funds for the Rainy Day Trust and recognise the innovation and initiative shown by the award winners. The co-location of the shows and the DIY Week Awards gives the industry a social and business focal point in the year,” added Paul.

“We’ve received tremendous support this year from all our Event Partners – Stax Trade Centres, Home Hardware, Mica DIY, the British Hardware Federation (BHF) and BHETA – and our sponsors and speakers; Insight DIY, GfK and the British Independent Retailers Association (bira). Together we are creating great opportunities for suppliers and buyers to meet up, socialise and do business – and it’s working well!”

Next year Totally DIY & Totally Tools will run for two days on Tuesday, February 16th and Wednesday, February 17th at the Ricoh Arena. The change to a two-day, midweek format has been broadly supported by the industry.

“We need to change with the market and this move has not been an issue for any of our exhibitors or visitors. It is widely understood that the industry full time buyers like to be at their desks on a Monday, and that getting cover is generally easier midweek for store owners and managers. A two-day show also has the added benefit of reduced attendant costs for exhibitors, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone. We’re also using the opportunity to freshen up the show floorplan and ensure those exhibitors who have worked hard to produce new ideas and products are centre stage!” Paul concluded.

Source: Totally Tools 2015

February 2015

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