Garden retailers, landscapers and builders merchants looking to build their business will be flocking to i2i Events’ UK-leading garden retail event, Glee (14th – 16th September, NEC Birmingham), where the latest innovations from hundreds of garden industry suppliers will be on show in one convenient location.
With just two months to go until the doors open on the 2015 show we catch up with i2i’s Matthew Mein, event manager at Glee, to find out more about what is in store.

The future looks bright at Glee
Matthew said: “In many ways 2014 could be considered the perfect storm. The sun shone, consumers spent money and we made the decision to look at ways to create a brighter, more vitalised annual Glee exhibition. Together all this elements came together to create one of the strongest showcases for the UK garden retail market in several years.

“The changes that were made to revitalise Glee were incredibly well received and have stood us in good stead for the 2015 show. The move to the new location within NEC halls 17 – 20 has not only created a vibrant layout, which is forcing buyers to walk the show and source new suppliers, but it is also helping to inspire exhibitors to think differently about their stands. As a result we’re seeing more and more exhibitors book bigger stand spaces, as well as talking to us about how they can maximise their presence at the show. It’s fantastic to work with so many focussed and passionate companies, and have no doubt that this enthusiasm will pay dividends when the show opens in September.”

Matthew concluded by saying: “Glee is in great shape, in fact it is close to capacity, with only a handful of stand spaces left to sell. We exceeded the 2014 floorplan back in <insert month>, and are well on track to see in excess of 530 exhibitors, including a phenomenal 350 new exhibitors and over 75 international brands. I’ve no qualms in saying that Glee 2015 is set to the one of the most exciting shows for some time!”

SECTOR-BY-SECTOR UPDATE
Whether you are looking to source the latest innovations or core best sellers for the year ahead, Glee will offer it all. Encompassing seven dedicated product sectors, Glee is the leading annual showcase for the whole of the garden industry and an essential diary date for any garden retailer, landscaper or merchant.

Glee Garden Care is Glee’s most thriving area, and represents the biggest area of growth within the show. As always Glee’s Garden Care sector will feature everything from growing media, compost, fertilisers, and GYO products to garden machinery, garden tools and accessories.

Key exhibitors for Glee Garden Care include Westland, Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Gardman, Smart Garden, Bord Na Mona, Burgon & Ball, Briers, Town & Country, Kaemingk, Elho, Agralan, Scheurich, Briers, Barenburg, Belstane, Black Country Metal Works, Artevasi, Bosmere, Malton Plastics, Maingate, Mr Fothergills Seeds, PotMagic, Oakthrift, Rollins Bulldog Tools, Sinclair Horticulture, Speak & Jackson, Stax, Taylors Bulbs, Copely Developments, DLF Trifolium, Doff Portland, Elho, Fallen Fruits, Garden On A Roll, Garland Products, Haws Watering Cans, Vitax, Vegtrug, Neudorff, Westwood Globa, Whitefurze and Wildlife World.

Lapsed companies making their return to Glee in 2015 include Stewart Plastics, Fiskars, Draper Tools and Parasene.

Hozelock has also confirmed its return to Glee following a break of several years. Talking about this Glee’s Matthew Mein said: “Hozelock’s return comes at a time of growth for Glee, so it’s great to see that the changes we’re making are appealing to those brands that may not have seen value in exhibiting at Glee in recent years. Being able to welcome so many of them back is testament to the hard work and ongoing commitment to change that underpins all our development plans for the show. I’ve no doubt that the return of Hozelock will add an exciting new element to Glee’s overall offering, whilst also providing retailers with even more reasons to make visiting the show an essential part of their year.”

Glee Garden Design & Landscaping provides an unrivalled showcase of influential brands and leaders in garden and landscaping design, and represents an area of significant growth at Glee during 2015. Featuring stunning displays, this area of Glee is a must-see section of the show, featuring many best-practice examples of how to cross-sell products in situ. From hard landscaping and aggregates to fencing, garden buildings and decorative accents such as pots, structures, soft landscaping, statuary, water features and timber supplies, Glee Garden Design has everything to help garden retailers, builders’ merchants and landscapers to maximise those products that create the framework of every garden.

Exhibitors confirmed so far for the 2015 show include Forest Garden, Woodlodge, Deco-Pak, Lafarge Tarmac, Apta, Kelkay, Global Stone, Grange Fencing, Zest 4 Leisure, Albany Shed Company, Artform (UK), Blakeway Stone, Cadix, Hedge UK, Ivyline, Deroma UK, Luxform, Meadow View Stone, Melcourt Industries, Poterie Lorraine, Powys & Marches Stone, Vivid Arts, Fitrite Fencing & Decking, and Hamac Trading.

New and lapsed companies will include Eden Halls Greenhouses, Elite Greenhouses, RockinColour, and UK Garden Buildings.

Glee Garden Leisure is the place to source products that really enable people to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle, and will feature the best from the industry’s leading companies, making it the ideal opportunity for buyers looking to source next year’s ranges and tap into growing leisure demand. Showing everything from garden furniture, barbeques and parasols to chimeneas, conservatory and indoor furniture, play equipment and camping essentials will be Premier Decorations, CPL Distribution, Aspire Outdoors, and John Adams Leisure. Look out for new and returning brands such as Ascalon, PKL Leisure, Masters Outdoor, and Rosker UK.

Image removed.Glee Plants is where buyers can shop for the best in nursery stock, bedding plants, house plants, cut flowers, trees and shrubs, herbs and florist sundries from both UK and international growers; as well as seeing the latest plant trends and merchandising techniques. Key exhibitors confirmed for Glee Nursery & Planteria include Darby Nursery Stock, SeedCell, Javado, Laurica Plants, Morleys Nurseries, Northumberland Nurseries, Plantworks, SP Trading (Scotland) Ltd, The Christmas Cabin Company and Wharton Nurseries.

A wider showcase of growers will also be found within Glee’s Green Heart, back for its second year in 2015. Located at the entrance to Glee within the atrium area of the NEC, this new area will see 60 growers come together to create a leading showcase for both British and internationally grown plants, and will put ‘green’ right back into the centre of the show. This year the area will be supported by a new programme of activities led by The Plant Works’ independent garden centre consultant, Kevin Waters. Throughout the show Kevin will lead a number of guided tours around the Green Heart and wider sections of Glee, to demonstrate how cross merchandising and clever displays can highlight a continual year-round association with the plant offer, thereby making plants accessible – and loved – by all who visit centres, no matter the time of year.

Glee Home, Gift & Clothing is a key place to explore additional profit-making opportunities, something that many forward thinking retailers have already maximised. As the garden retail gift market continues to grow as many garden centres become ‘destination centres’, Glee Home, Gift & Clothing brings together a huge selection of product ideas to help your gift offering stand out. Added to this, the section also features additional, added value product lines such as clothing ranges, picnicware, seasonal decorations plus games, toys and books.

Exhibitors already confirmed for Glee Home Gift & Clothing in 2015 include Premier Decorations, Aigle, Barkeburn, Boodywear, Creekwood, Klass, Fairgoodies, Fordville, Fountasia, Home & Garden UK, Opal London, Italian Bag Company, Kaemingk, Luxa, Moonshine Drinks, Noel Tatt Group, QMY Windchimes, Ravensburger, Regatta, Seedball, Heavenly Feet, Sincere UK, Stewart’s Gift Tins, The Great British Card Company, The Original Metal Sign Co. and Woodstock Chimes.

Glee Garden Retail Services is not to be missed by anyone wanting to maximise the profitability and efficiency of their own store. Packed full of the latest innovations, technologies and equipment for tomorrow’s retailers – including EPoS, shop fitting and display stands, structures, software solutions and garden centre design – Retail Services is an essential part of Glee.

Exhibitors who have already confirmed their place at the 2015 show include Clearview Greenhouses, Creative Products, CSY Retail Systems, Davidson-Richards, DC Payments, Fargo, Garden Connect, Gilbert Evans, Malcolm Scott Consultants, MP Buildings, NedFox B.V, National Structures, Pleydell Smithyman, Quinton Edwards, Salepoint, Smiemens Projectan, Stagecraft, Thermoflor and G7 Swan.
Manufacturers of pet products and accessories will also have a stronger presence at Glee 2015 thanks to the introduction of the PetQuip Business Village. This exciting new area will see PetQuip - the UK’s leading trade association for suppliers of pet products, accessories and services - bring together member and non-member pet suppliers to create a leading showcase of those pet brands wanting to build a presence within garden retailers. Under the leadership and support of PetQuip, the Village will provide pet suppliers of all sizes with a platform to launch and showcase their 2016 ranges to garden retail buyers and key decision makers.