Glee to host 500 garden industry exhibitors next month

Glee show organisers say they are expecting to host more than 500 exhibitors at the garden industry event which takes place next month at the NEC, Birmingham.

Garden care exhibitor numbers will be similar to 2011, while landscape exhibitor numbers are five per cent up, organisers said. Strong interest has also been shown in the new food and catering zone.

Waitrose buyer Juliette Toft who said she is looking forward to seeing all of her suppliers under one roof at the show said she was particularly interested in spotting "any potential ‘newness’ which I can then build into my plans for the following season."

Toft said as a category, gardening is starting to build traction within Waitrose. She added: "2013 will be about building on the successes from this year and my attendance at Glee will be instrumental in shaping that offer."

Other major buyers who will be in attendance include Homebase senior buyer Jonathan Southern.

International buyers attending include Canadian garden centre TERRA senior marketing manager Bill Bown who will be looking for networking opportunities, to see what other category innovators are doing and to find inspiration for creativity back at home.

He added: "I am looking forward to meeting other innovative retailers and learning what they are doing differently to re-invent themselves in a changing world of consumers and competition."

Hillview Garden Centre CEO & Garden Re-Leaf founder Boyd Douglas-Davis said: "Once I am at the show I head straight to the new products area to see the newest innovations the industry has to offer."

He added: "Having purchased a garden centre just three days before Glee 2011 it was important to make contact with as many suppliers as possible in the shortest possible time. The only way to meet the whole industry in such a short time is undoubtedly by going to Glee."

The Gardens Group MD Mike Burks said: "I come to Glee with the whole gardening season in mind; however spring remains a priority when picking products as we want to kick off the new gardening season with a bang. 

"Glee offers a wide range of tools to ensure you make the most of the show.  Before the show I make sure I visit the Glee website, as well as look in the trade press for all the news from the show as well as reading all the pre-show mailings – it’s amazing what you can find out. The show guide is also an essential tool, and is something I use long after the show has ended."

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