Glee hails visitor uplift in key areas

Garden centre trade show Glee says it attracted more garden centre visitors, more builders merchants, more multiples, more furniture buyers and more DIY retailers than in 2009 to the 35th Glee exhibition (20-22 September, NEC Birmingham).

Around 650 suppliers, up from 600 in 2009, including 150 brand new exhibitors, hosted representatives from Dobbies, Scotsdales, Bents, Webbs, Blue Diamond, Travis Perkins, Wickes, Asda, John Lewis, B&Q, Homebase, House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer, Next, Wilkinsons, Co-Op, Kingfisher, Aldi, Halfords, Pets at Home, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Amazon, BHS, Argos and Tesco.

Glee marketing manager, David Langrish said: "We have been really pleased with the industry’s response to the show.  The aisles and stands were packed with the right kind of visitors, ready to do business.  We’ve spoken to exhibitors who took bigger orders at Glee than at any other trade show this year, as well as others who have taken significant enquiries and forged profitable new business relationships. Clearly both buyers and suppliers felt their time was very well spent."

Some 13,050 people attended Glee from 55 countries, including five per cent more garden centres, as well as seven per cent more builders’ merchants and 25 per cent more  DIY superstore buyers.

Last year’s visitor numbers were 14,000.

Comments on the show:

Westland Horticulture – Keith Nicholson, Head of Marketing

"We are delighted with the success of this year’s Glee, and launched more products than we ever have done.  Our new ranges certainly drew in the crowds and received huge amounts of interest from all who visited our stand.  We are now excited to launch these products ready for the up and coming gardening season."


Town & Country - Al Sheppard, UK Sales Manager

"Overall it was an incredible show for us.  We felt that attendance was up and of a good quality.  The new products we launched have all gone down a storm and the orders we have taken - and they are still coming in - far exceed any projections we had made.  Monday was an incredibly busy day, Tuesday was manageable and although Wednesday was a bit quieter, we had some good quality time with visitors to the stand.  The new bird care range has been a phenomenal success and we can’t wait to see consumer reaction when they hit the stores mid November."


The Garden Works, John Connel, director

"I have been coming to Glee for many years, and even in a recession it still manages to deliver quality trade visitors. People come here looking for innovation and the wow factor, and that is what we delivered."

Vital Earth – Maryanne Stokes, sales and marketing manager

"In terms of stand attendance and product enquiries it has proven to be one of our most successful Glee’s to date, both in terms of visitor numbers and orders placed. We have in fact sold through on our promotions and are producing more stock to meet demand!"

Bolsius UK Ltd - Mike Buttery, Sales Manager

"This year was a particularly good show, in fact one of the best we have attended.  Although we didn’t see quite the same volume of people, the quality of the visitors was particularly high and there was no doubting that they came with serious buying intentions".

Wyevale – Colin Stanley, Garden Centre sales manager

"We’ve made quite a few new contacts and buyers we would not normally see have taken the opportunity to visit us on our stand. The quality of the visitors has been very good; we have seen many serious buyers."

Foras – Claire Brutnall

"The best Glee we’ve done for four years! We’ve seen major department stores and all the garden centre buying groups; there are a lot of higher end leads this year. All the key buyers still come to Glee and we are reaping the rewards."

La Hacienda – Simon Goodwin, Director

"Glee 2010 has been a great success, we’ve been very busy seeing a lot of new and existing customers and we’ve taken more orders than last year so we are very happy we doubled our stand space! The exposure we get at Glee has enhanced our brand so that it is now becoming more recognised in the market and attracting new and bigger customers.  Glee is a vital trade show for us and it is very important that we are here every year."

Forest – Vicky Nuttall, marketing manager

"We’ve seen B&Q, Homebase, Travis Perkins, Wickes, the key builders merchant groups, garden centre buying groups such as Tillington, independent garden centres and all the multiples.  What’s good is that they have treated Glee as a key buying event, spending productive time in meetings.  It’s not just a good day out!"

Steve Bradley, The Sun

"It’s been a brilliant day, worth coming for just the first hour alone.  It’s all about quality, with plenty to see."

Malcolm O’Shea, Grow Bag inventor (and formerly of Bradgate Nurseries)

 "I think it’s an excellent show.  It has been for years, and it looks great again this year.  It’s great to meet people and see what’s happening in the market."

Jean Vernon, freelance garden writer and journalist, The Daily Telegraph "I’m here, as usual, for all three days and there’s still not enough time to see everyone I want or need to see!  Visiting in person rekindles working relationships and also saves phone calls later and valuable time. I come away with a clearer impression of what's happening the industry and enough material for 10 or 12 editorial features.  I’m particularly looking for information on what’s new, themes and latest trends. I also want to expand my network of contacts, which is so easy when the industry has gathered together for Glee.  I think the Innovation Zone is brilliant, there’s some very good new ideas and products - I'd like to see much more of that next year."

Trevor Standley - Barton Fields Garden Centre

"I started coming to Glee ten years ago.  I’m especially interested in landscaping and I’ve found one or two products of interest so far this year.  I’m glad I’ve come.  If you don’t, you miss a trick.  I’ve just seen some very good new paving, for example, that we wouldn’t have known about otherwise."

Paul Brewster, Cherry Hill Garden & Landscape Centre

"We came to look for anything and everything, especially glasshouses, timber sheds and garden buildings.  We’ve also found some good gift ideas.  It’s all about making contacts and seeing our suppliers’ new products, as well as meeting the MDs.  It’s been good."

Malcolm O’Shea, Grow Bag inventor (and formerly of Bradgate Nurseries)

 "I think it’s an excellent show.  It has been for years, and it looks great again this year.  It’s great to meet people and see what’s happening in the market."

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