Why hello there February — the month of love!

Last year my husband and I decided to boycott Valentine’s Day, vowing we would go out for dinner and exchange presents another night, but by the time I had got back from visiting various trade shows throughout the month, the moment had passed.

Does that ever happen to you? Do you delay things with good intentions, but then never end up returning to them?


This can so easily happen at trade shows. I know I’m guilty of whizzing through the halls and telling brands and suppliers I will come back after my meetings, then before I know it the show doors are closing and I never managed to swing by to a new stand I was actually really excited about.

Sometimes the problem is I turn up to trade shows with such a packed diary it doesn’t give me time to just take in the companies and products I may not have heard of yet, and I can be in danger of missing the next big thing.

Of course, it is good to have a plan, but like me, are you neglecting to leave enough time to go back to brands that caught your eye? Are you so busy seeing suppliers you already know at trade shows that you are missing the opportunity to discover something new and exciting?

In the spirit of the month of Valentine’s Day, can I encourage you to go in search of a new brand or product your customers can fall in love with?

Local and international trade shows are full of exciting and innovative firms, all with so much to offer UK retailers in terms of product and marketing support.

Whether it’s a budding new designer with unique yet highly commercial designs; a supplier playing with lab-grown diamonds; or a brand that has come up with a completely innovative personalisation concept — the show halls are filled with new products that are quite often never given a second glance because British jewellers have a reputation for staying in their comfort zones.

What’s your store missing? Where can you add a new lease of life? Do you need an ethical option for the consumer looking for sustainable luxury? Do you need a pop of colour because bright hues are this season’s hottest trend? Should you have bridal products that can be adapted for brides wanting something different? Are you missing an entry-level product that will entice millennials into store?

Before you leave your shop and go in search of brilliant buying opportunities, take stock. Assess what’s working, and of course, stock up on more of that. See what brands are selling well, and discover the latest collections they have to offer. But also have a look at what gaps you have that could be filled with something new.

I for one am looking forward to falling in love with new products this season.

See you around the show floors!