We asked a number of proprietors and buyers, from stores around the country, why the Autumn Gift and Home Fair is important to them.
Here’s what they had to say …
Gift Closet, Laois.
“I’m looking forward to going to the show. It’s lovely to actually see things, especially the new items. I love the atmosphere at the show and I always go away feeling that I have learned something new. And that’s what it’s all about really when you’re in retail…..”
Alice Delaney, Proprietor, Gift Closet (on-line)
Ardboe Gift Centre, Tyrone (family run business)
“We would be regular visitors to AG&H and yes, we have missed it… It’s really good to see new products and to have them in stock for our customers. We’ve also missed experiencing things for ourselves (instead of viewing images.) Even with brands we trust it’s a better way of buying.”
House of Gifts, Nenagh (family run business)
“We’re very much looking forward to coming to the show; it gives us the opportunity to see things in the flesh — it’s a completely different experience from buying products from a brochure. You know what you’re buying and it cuts down on the possibility of making a mistake. “
Dermot Dolan, (family member)
The Red Door Gift Shop, Abbeyleix.
“I’m definitely looking forward to the Fair. I’m always changing stock, always looking for something new and I’ve found the Fair to have been a great resource in the past. I’m looking out for Irish providers and good prices, in particular. We had a good COVID, we need more stock, I like to support Irish businesses so yes …. I’m ready to go!”
Alissa Blundell, Proprietor
The National Wax Museum
“ This will be my fist visit to the Autumn Gift and Home Fair and I am really looking forward to it! We’re looking to expand our range of products and gifts at the National Wax Museum and we see going to the Autumn Fair as the ideal opportunity to do that. I’ll be bringing two of the shop managers with me to make sure we don’t miss anything. We’ve mainly been purchasing on-line up to this so it will be great to see the products, speak with the manufacturers/agents; maybe even get to place some bespoke orders. It’s all very exciting …!”
Anna Kurowska, General Manager
Doran’s Pharmacy , Listowel, Co. Kerry.
“The last time we went to the Fair we were a new opening and we weren’t really sure what would sell. Then along came COVID and everything changed anyway! We’re really looking forward to going to the Autumn Fair this year. It’s a great opportunity to source new suppliers, to introduce new stock to the pharmacy, to see products in reality which, I think, will give us a better feel for the season ahead which can be a daunting one because its’ so busy.
“It’s also a chance for my staff to be more invested in what we sell. Visiting the Fair is part of retailing but it’s a bit of a change from the everyday setting. And I feel it will make us all more energised and will give my staff more ‘ownership’ of what they sell. It’s exciting!”
Norma Doran, Proprietor.
Warren Allen Bandon
“We’re looking forward to going to the show primarily to pick up new ideas and maybe get some inspiration to help to guide us though the coming seasons. Our shop stocks clothing, handbags, books, cards, handbags, soft furnishings, gifts, baby clothes, jewellery and more so there’s quite a lot to cover. We’re regular attendees at the Fair — the shop has been in existence for 12 years —and it’s always been a good source of products fro us. It will be good to get back.
Maebh Walsh, Buyer
THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY GIFTSHOP (family run business)
“We’re definitely looking forward to the Fair. For us it’s a very efficient way to buy. Everything is under the one roof. We go primarily to source new products: nothing compares with touching, feeling a product, seeing it in reality. Meeting the wholesalers/manufacturers/company reps in person is also a great way to forge bonds and build up trust with your suppliers. It’s a really good experience. “
Joanne Melia, Family member.