Following the announcement that Glee will return to a September dateline in 2024, bellwether suppliers across the gardening industry have been vocal in their support of the new autumn date, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of Glee. The celebration of all things garden, leisure and pet will take place from Tuesday 10th - Thursday 12th September, at the NEC, Birmingham.
Glee took the decision to shift the exhibition back to September following extensive market research, consultation and dialogue with the retail community, with help from new Strategic Advisor, Boyd Douglas-Davies. September was found to be the ‘sweet spot’ for a significant majority of stakeholders, mostly because Glee’s positioning in the calendar is so central to the industry, marking the transition between seasons, with ordering finalisation, planning and preparation coming immediately after the event. Additional factors that influenced this next chapter for Glee included lead times and price lists, retail buying patterns and seasonal considerations.
One exhibitor who recognised the importance of listening to the visitor's voice was Westland. Simon McArdle, Divisional Director, Westland, said: “The viewpoint of the visitors to Glee is critical, and their view is that a September show works best. On this basis, we fully support the move of Glee to September. Summer months are the height of the horticulture industry, and we hope the date move to later in the year allows for higher participation at the event for our buyers.”
Echoing Simon’s thoughts was Paul North, Managing Director, The AMES Companies, who was enthusiastic about the change, saying: “We’re pleased and supportive of the change in dates for Glee 2024, given the decision to move to September was based entirely on ‘customer’ feedback. As ever, we truly look forward to the opportunity to meet with customers, suppliers and colleagues to showcase our new product introductions!”
Edward Cantle, Channel Sales Manager – Garden Centres & Independents, at GARDENA and Flymo, also commented on recognising how important industry feedback is and confirmed their support of Glee 2024. He said: “We’re looking forward to another successful showcase at this year’s Glee in September 2024. As Europe’s leading watering and hand tools brand, it’s important for us to listen to industry feedback, and we understand that by exhibiting in September, we can showcase new innovations in a way that anyone attending can see and handle the products in person. We are very happy to support and exhibit at Glee, which we have done continuously for many years.”
Sarah Hill, Managing Director, Meadow View Stone, remarked: “The rescheduling of Glee to September is a very welcome compromise as it avoids the summer peaks in trading, so should naturally encourage greater attendance by customers. It also enables customers a greater snapshot of the years trading, to help evaluate their product and range performances, both of which intrinsically drive their decisions for future supply. Pricing and pre-season deals can now be offered for the forthcoming season at Glee, along with the ability to better measure and evaluate new product uptake more succinctly. This will benefit both customers and suppliers alike and Meadow View Stone wholeheartedly supports this change and thanks Glee for listening to industry feedback”.
Logistically, September is preferable to June, said Boyd, with quieter garden centres “enjoying a brief reprieve before the festive season commences”. It also avoids the school summer holidays, enabling retailers to bring larger buying teams to the show.
Guy Jenkins, Consumer Manager, Johnsons Lawn Seed, is in no doubt about the benefits of an autumn showcase, saying: “Glee is the go-to show for DLF and Johnsons Lawn Seed and I’m delighted to see it returning to September. We have exhibited at Glee for over 25 years and for both the majority of customers and ourselves this is the right time. We are able to have pricing and new products ready as we start looking ahead to pre-season and our customers know their stock levels. Roll on September!”
Sean Elkin, UK Sales Director, Evergreen Garden Care agrees, commenting that: “Evergreen Garden Care is in full support of Glee moving back to September in 2024. The event provides an opportunity like no other for us to engage with our valued retail partners face-to-face and have in-depth conversations about NPD and plans for the 2025 season. It’s a chance for the horticulture industry to come together and discuss how we can continue to evolve and progress, and having these discussions in September is key to tying in ranges and stock ordering for 2025. We look forward to meeting with our peers ahead of another big year for the horticulture industry.”
Find out more
Glee connects the garden industry to inspire change, drive growth and promote innovation . To find out more or to register your interest in exhibiting, please visit www.gleebirmingham.com or call +44 (0)203 3545 9752.