Show attendance rises despite market worries

Four Oaks exhibitors remain positive despite tough trading conditions

The downturn in consumer spending and the rising cost of energy were on the minds of exhibitors at last week’s Four Oaks trade show. Several exhibiting nurseries said concerns over fuel prices could see a shake-up in product ranges, with a greater focus on plants needing less heating and light to produce. But the mood at the show was positive, with exhibitors reporting an encouraging response from visitors, including a larger group of buyers than last year from overseas. Organiser Pat Coutts said visitor numbers appeared to be up on last year. “Good feedback from exhibitors has shown it isn’t all doom and gloom in the industry,” she added. Coutts also noted that many growers at the show managed to sell produce on their stands. Managing director Patrick Fairweather of Hampshire-based Fairweather’s said: “One main reason for showing is to get feedback from customers on our new plants.” West Sussex-based Hollyacre Plants sales and marketing manager Simon Davenport said: “It’s a good show for us for maintaining contacts with customers.”

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