The Independent Toy & Gift show resumed a much-awaited live format when it returned to Cranmore Park in Solihull on 14 September and 15 September to unite the industry at the only UK toy trade show of 2021.

Organiser AIS buying group AIS (Associated Independent Stores) said the event was supported by more than 50 suppliers and was well attended by retailers from across the UK, with everyone keen to get back to business as usual.

Exhibitor Nick Saunders, sales director of Brainstorm, was among the first to herald the show a success. He said: “We had a great show. It was a fantastic tonic to be at the coal face again and actually talking to customers face-to-face!”

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“As the buyer for Wicked Uncle, I attend a lot of shows. From toy to gift, stationery, nursery, beauty, book fairs and more – in 2019 I visited a record 27 shows”

Liam O’Shea, buying director of online gift specialist Wicked Uncle

Visiting buyers were also keen to provide glowing reviews. Liam O’Shea, buying director of online gift specialist Wicked Uncle, commented: “As the buyer for Wicked Uncle, I attend a lot of shows. From toy to gift, stationery, nursery, beauty, book fairs and more – in 2019 I visited a record 27 shows. Without doubt, The Independent Toy & Gift Show is my favourite by far. Smoothly run with easy access, comfortable and welcoming, this is THE show of the year for me. It is so good to chat to suppliers in such a relaxed setting and we do some great business there, regularly place large orders. Simply the best!”

Su Gill, group buyer of toys for Morleys department store group in Greater London, added: “A huge thank you for organising a terrific show! It was so wonderful to be able to see suppliers and products – many of them for the first time this year. There was a real buzz in the showroom.”

In a new development, The Independent Toy & Gift show is joining the umbrella group of INDX trade shows. When it returns to the same venue next year, it will do so under the INDX Home Banner, rebranded as INDX Toys & Nursery.

INDX (short for Independent Exhibitions) represents a group of established trade shows covering fashion and home categories which are curated by AIS. The addition of Toys & Nursery will expand and strengthen the INDX Home portfolio which includes Furniture, Housewares, Linens, Beds & Bedroom and Gift Food.

Rosie Marshall, head of toys & children’s gifts at AIS, said: “The Independent Toy & Gift Show ethos has a lot of similarities with the key values that the INDX brand stands for, such as providing a business and buyer focused approach to shows and a commitment to meeting the diverse requirements of today’s retailers. We are delighted to be joining the INDX family and look forward to welcoming everyone to the launch show in April.”

In a revision to initially released dates, the first INDX Toys & Nursery will take place on 6 April and 7 April. Open to all retailers, INDX Toys & Nursery will showcase the latest ranges including traditional toys, products from market leading suppliers and the newest trends.

Buyer registration for INDX Toys & Nursery is now open HERE

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