- 26 October 2012
The number of visitors to Glee 2012 dropped by almost 20% to 9,112 this year, after attracting 11,149 last year and 13,050 in 2010. But show bosses have defended the horticultural event, saying that in context of the industry's terrible summer, this year's Glee "performed ahead of current market trends."
Glee's visitor numbers dropped this year, but some have defended its compact feel.
It comes as the Garden Industry Manufacturers' Association launches its annual survey of Glee, with industry attendees taking to the polls and internet forums to voice their verdict on the show. This year's show saw 527 suppliers exhibiting, down on last year's 670, but the number of new suppliers went up by one to 201, and 34 companies returned.
Event director Nick Davison said: "It is vital when looking at the visitor numbers for the 2012 show to consider that this year Glee went through a period of significant change and development, particularly in relation to how Glee worked for independent pet retailers. One aspect of this was our strategic decision to end the Petindex licence agreement, and instead incorporate pet manufacturers within the main body of Glee. There is no doubt that this will have impacted upon this year's visitor numbers - however the overall picture is still a positive one."
He added that the show's garden-related visitor numbers were "only down 7% year-on-year, which is particularly positive considering current market conditions and what was deemed by many as one of the worst years for garden retailing for quite some time."
Meanwhile, members of the garden retail industry have voiced mixed reviews of the show. While GCA boss Peter Burks said the show was "an integral event for serious garden centres and suppliers", others say the show has become too small. Speaking to DIY Week recently, Fermoy's Garden Centre managing director Alan Murdoch said he'd found this year's show "disappointingly quiet," a view shared by many of the exhibitors who spoke to DIY Week from the show floor.
New features, including a food and catering zone, a shop window display, guided tours, trend tunnel and sessions from the knowledge hub were reportedly well attended. Mr Davison hinted at the development of next year's show, adding: "We recognise the need to continue to build a show that remains relevant, and provides the right platform for business to be done. Whilst we have our own ideas on how to do this, the ongoing advice, feedback and support of the industry is also vital: we cannot build a show that works without the input of those that use it."
· For a full review of Glee 2012, including views from the garden supply and retailer industry, a full gallery of show images and a look at the show's new features, see the October 19 edition of DIY Week.
|Glee 2012 18/10/2012 21:02:00
By Tony Seaman
Please will the last person out switch off the lights???
Too little too late as all the important companies who attracted the visitors have jumped ship and are off into the sunset with more visitors in their own special little shows.
I am afraid that it has very little to do with politics rather more a "wrong time of the year show" Spring Fair always seems to be packed so why not move Glee to the time of the year when the buyers expect to be able to buy their Spring stocks and put pressure on the companies from China to get their stocks in store by the end of March! Maybe the British producers would benefit?
|England not finished but GLEE should be put out of its misery 18/10/2012 18:24:00
By Charlotte Gillan, Classic Canes
We abandoned GLEE in favour of a return to exhibiting at the Autumn Fair this year and found it much more positive, with lots of independent garden centres in attendance. Most of them were sensibly looking for unusual products that wouldn't be found at silly prices in the multiples and that they could therefore sell at realistic margins. Buyers from multiples demanding ridiculously one-sided terms of business (see Peter H's comments, below) can then be politely told to look elsewhere with impunity!
It is a shame that GLEE is in such a sorry state but perhaps the answer is for Emap to open some gardening halls at the Autumn Fair instead and put GLEE out of its misery.
|Glee 18/10/2012 16:17:00
By Mike Evans
Perhaps they need to go back to openning on Sunday. I had planned to attend on the Monday but had to cancel because other business matters cropped up. Had it been open on Sunday I would have attended.
|To show or not to show 18/10/2012 12:24:00
By Jeremy S
Wow strong stuff maybe UK is not quite finished yet (lets wait for the Scots to vote) but Glee is, as are many shows run for the organisers. We are going to a show to with our UK and imported products Totally DIY in February 2013. It s a long time since we have exhibited but we feel it s worth a go as the venue in Coventry looks good and easy to get to. My only worry is that a three day event is too long for any show in these hard pressed times with or without wicker squirrels at 50p. My better half is in retail soft furnishings and a member of AIS they hold one day shows which are well attended.
|The Abolition of Britain and GLEE 16/10/2012 03:59:00
By Peter H
Its no suprise GLEE was a disaster. 9112 visitors is a disgrace. We would get more visitors to a 3rd Division football match, and it would be cheaper to sponser.
I hope those who exhibited try to claim their money back.
whats the point any way, when owners of garden centres dont visit anymore, they just send their plebs and 23 year old garden centre managers there for a day out and jolly up.
But as a supplier, you cant tell a 23 year old with a university degree anything about horticulture or retail selling when you have been producing plants and running a garden products business for 25 years. They know it all, and we are just not cheap enough.
They are just not interested in your products because they wont sell at 24.99, and they have to make 300 % margin.
Thats funny, I replied, we have just had a business trip to Germany, and a German customer
purchased 100,000 units off us at 18 euros and has sold them all at 30 euros RRP ? and paid for most of it up front.
And the product is proudly made in the EU.
Proving the so called GLEE "Dragons Den" experts wrong that you should subcontract your manufacturing to CHINA ?
Can some one please tell me why anyone should invest in importing or manufacturing to the UK Garden Centre market ?
We will just spend thousands on Design, tooling,manufacturing, marketing, advertising, trade shows, Distribution, Agents, merchandising, labelling, stands and 7 months credit at pre season and make absolutely nil margin ???
who wants to sell to customers who are only interested in selling cheap wicker squirrels at 50p anyway.
complete waste of time !
Im on a plane to invest my money in another country !
|GLEE is finished and so is England. 16/10/2012 01:52:00
By John, manufacturer / supplier
Although its a sad day, the reality is GLEE is finished. For too long this country has refused to support its manufacturing and production infrastructure. This is all because the political classes want to save a few lousy pennies for the consumer. But If the consumer has no job, because they have been made unemployed by companies who have closed because of Far eastern competition. How can they spend anything with their local garden centre ?
We exhibited at GLEE last year and spent thousands.I doubt we will see that back in profit. We also paid approx 240 for 2 plug sockets that didnt work properly. And dont try and complain or, set up your stand after 6PM at the NEC, because the security jobsworths wont like it, and insult your staff, and then turn the lights off in the loading bay because they want to go home.
Also on the last day 3 hours before the show closes,some of our Chinese, Asian & foreign exhibitors decide to break the rules and break down their stands early, because they dont want to miss the plane.
Glee is finished and so is England !