Tomorrows Retail Flooring


This year’s Flooring Show, it’s 56th edition and the first run by its new owners Ocean Media Group, has been declared a success by leading exhibitors.

The three-day show, which opened from 16th-18th September at the Harrogate Convention Centre, attracted a good mix of specialist flooring retailers and contractors, fitters and more general buyers and retailers from department stores and builder’s merchants.

The total number of show visitors came in at 3009, including 5% more visitors travelling from the south of England. Nearly 40% of this year’s visitors ONLY attend The Flooring Show. The show also welcomed visitors from some new countries this year including Russia, Sweden, Iraq, Japan, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Guernsey and Ghana. Overall ,10% of the show’s visitors are from abroad, with 40% from the midlands and south and 50% from Yorkshire and the north.

The FITA Demo Zones and NICF Carpet Fitter of the Year competition were once again an integral part of the show, with John Wright from Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire picking up the winner’s trophy this year after being a finalist in 2017.

New initiatives for the show this year included a free 30-minute Trend Briefings by trend forecaster Scarlet Opus, a revamped Live Talks programme which included plenty of ideas and information for independent retailers, some serious US market data and great advice for both suppliers and retailers wanting to understand how to get the most out of technology and the internet.

In addition, a new ‘Flooring Forum’ discussion panel, hosted by trade press editor Sarah Robinson from Tomorrow’s Contract Floors, ran on Monday featuring Craig James, National Sales Manager at Egger; Steve Bakker, Global Marketing Director of The WoolSafe Organisation; Myles Shaw, Managing Director of Carpet Warehouse and Richard Catt, President of the Contract Flooring Association.

The show received some great feedback from exhibitors, including Neil Valentine, Commercial Director at Furlong Flooring, who said: “We had some excellent meetings at the Flooring Show this year and at times had visitors queuing to get onto the stand, despite having more manpower than last year.  It was one of our busiest Harrogate shows to date, resulting in great sales and quality leads for the team to follow up in the coming weeks.”

Event Manager Kane Thomas commented: “Exhibitor comments about quality buyers and doing significantly more business, is backed up by our data, which shows that 80% of our visitors this year were owners, managing directors and directors – up from 60% in comparison with 2017, and 86% of our visitors having purchasing responsibility, up from 68% last year.”

Planning for the 2019 show is already underway – with an Advisory Board meeting in the diary for the end of October, to be held in Manchester.

The 2019 Flooring Show will run from 15th-17th September at the Harrogate Convention Centre.


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