Our Story | January 2019
Predominately shell scheme fabrication was the clue to this being a solid B2B trade show where real business is done and orders secured. As a two day show, there was a tangible sense that footfall couldn’t come fast enough for most of the exhibitors. The basic stands certainly did not naturally draw one in and as with all events of this kind geography really mattered; position on the floor plan left one exhibitor isolated and confiding in me that traffic was simply passing them by.
In terms of the latest trends and themes to catch my eye – where industry movers and shakers were putting their energy this year, the jury is still out. However, a fragrance of newly invented ‘Heritage’ did hang in the air.
Hush fresh out of the Airsprung stable whilst Somnus continued to push its luxury position to distinguish from the rest of the Harrison Spinks group. The aptly named Deluxe Beds were clearly looking to occupy a traditional slice of the pie - complete with Yorkshire Moors and sheep! (substituting those well respected Devonian characters of the same ilk). Gainsborough, who claim that they represent some of the most luxurious beds available, followed a different angle. They have opted to bring sofa beds to the market.
Staples Ambrose ‘by Royal Appointment’ felt perhaps most believable in the essence they chose to convey – a rich mix of tweed and earthy tones. Along with Hypnos (near the entrance) these guys were buzzing at all times only stopping to put the overnight covers across and then off to grab the ‘glad rags’ for their Gala Dinner.
Towards the end of the afternoon I made a great find in the Lancashire business called Burgess Beds. Their fantastic products have been almost hiding away – well made, truly authentic with honest value dating back to their roots in 1927. A sensible price point could make them ideal for interior designers and specifiers alike, where quality as well as a good level of commission counts!
The Bed Show certainly gave credence to the notion that aiming for high net worth clientele is the right move, where those with a higher ceiling on their disposal income continue to spend, somewhat cushioned from the pressures of the recession. I do question whether a new sub-brand name and restyled signature alone will be enough to bestow luxury on these fledglings. Will it elevate and fast track them to the position held by those with true provenance and established brand awareness such as ViSpring?