Archive for the ‘Latest News’ Category

Sign & Digital UK announces confirmed exhibitors for 2019 as registration opens

January 15th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

With nearly 200 leading suppliers looking to inspire and educate visitors at this year’s Sign & Digital UK; the leading sign making, display solutions and digital printing show returns to the NEC, Birmingham on 2 to 4 April and will host many new exhibitors in addition to a plethora of highly anticipated returning companies.

Not to be missed new exhibitors include: ABC Display Industry, GMG Color, Liquid Lens Systems, M3 Online Limited, PROTEK, Premier Paper Group, Signzworld, Solar Illuminations, Trade Sign Shop, Target Transfers, UK Feather Flags, UK Industrial Tapes, and Viscom LEDs and Frames.

Amongst the many companies returning to the show are Atlantic Tech Services, CMYUK, Blackman & White, Complete CNC Solutions, Epson, GESS, HEXIS UK, Hybrid Services/Mimaki, printMAX, Roland DG (UK), Sabur Digital, Signgeer, Spandex, Tecna, The Magic Touch, Ultima Displays, Vivid Laminating, William Smith Group1832 and Zund Plotting Systems.

Rudi Blackett, Sign & Digital UK portfolio director said: “It’s fantastic to have so many new companies at the show this year, as well as welcoming back a large number of returning exhibitors – their presence at S&DUK 2019 confirms the show’s continued ability to connect people and the industry. The variety of products and services on offer, in addition to free-to-attend seminars, workshops and live demonstrations means that we deliver an industry leading event, which gives our visitors the chance to connect with their peers and to keep up to date with the latest innovations.”

To see the full list of exhibitors and to register for free entry, visit

To enquire about exhibiting please contact the show team on 01342 33200 or email


January 15th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

The Mercers’ Company has announced that iconic travel bookstore, Stanfords, has opened its new London flagship at 7 Mercer Walk.

Marking the launch of its opening, Stanfords hosted a press event on Thursday 10 January where CEO Vivien Godfrey welcomed several guests, including well known authors Benedict Allen and Phoebe Smith. The event allowed for visitors to see and experience Stanfords’ new store concept, which has been specially designed to accommodate the brand’s numerous book launches and signings. Expanding on their much-loved café Stanfords has also introduced an adventurous menu, with space for more than 25 covers including an al-fresco seating area.

Designed by Caulder Moore and fitted out by Bluecrow Projects, the 4,165 sq ft store offers the world’s largest stock of maps and travel guides under one roof. Featuring ‘travel inspired’ installations and photography of explorers the new store establishes a more modern, urban aesthetic.

Vivien Godfrey, Chairman and CEO at Stanfords commented: “We are excited to kick start 2019 with the opening of our new store. Our move has allowed us to expand our offering as well as give our store a much-needed refresh. We are very privileged to have such a loyal customer base, and many tell us they make a pilgrimage to Stanfords when visiting the capital; I am sure they will be delighted to see our new home.”

Simon Taylor, Property Director at The Mercers’ Company added: “The Mercers’ Company is proud to welcome Stanfords to Mercer Walk. This iconic brand holds an impressive heritage and with the largest collection of books, maps and travel products it remains a huge asset to the area. The brand’s commitment to their customers both historically and presently is inspiring and we are thrilled to welcome their new flagship store to the Mercers’ Estate.”

The news follows the recent opening of luxury and sustainable footwear brand, Allbirds, who opened their debut European store in Long Acre last October. Stanfords joins a strong line up of retail brands including, H&M, Russell and Bromley, Hobbs and Reiss.

Surface Spotlight Live: One Of A Kind

January 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

From 5-7 February Surface Design Show 2019 will take place at London’s Business Design Centre to provide a platform for architects, designers and specifiers to explore the best in interior and exterior surface materials, lighting design, development and innovation.

A dedicated trend-focused installation, Surface Spotlight Live, curated in collaboration by trend expert Sally Angharad and colour forecasters Colour Hive,will return to Surface Design Show 2019. The theme, One of a Kind, will aim to inspire a kinder approach to design. A series of thought-provoking and innovative products will be showcased, all which go beyond aesthetics to promote meaningful experiences, with highlights for the workplace and public realm.

Colour Hive, and its publication MIX Magazine, will bring back its own detailed exploration of trends in its installation The Trend Cluster as part of Surface Spotlight Live. The duo will display materials, products and objects that effectively communicate and inspire the trend for Kinship, as identified by them for Spring/Summer 2020.

In One Of A Kind Sally Angharad will present a selection of materials from exhibitors and guest makers and companies, chosen for their innovative design and development. As a trend expert Sally researches the latest materials being produced, often unearthing pioneering and inventive products that put discovery of better materials ahead of aesthetic requirements – often altering the attitude towards what is desirable.

One of the exhibiting material makers to be featured is Orla Lawn (stand 544), a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art’s Masters in Mixed Media Textile Design. Working with combinations of many hard and soft materials, from concrete, wood and Jesmonite to silk, foam and chocolate, her work to date has explored tactility in the built environment and the boundaries between textiles and interiors.

An experienced exhibitor, Panaz (stand 140) will feature in the Surface Spotlight Live installation with their SilicaStone product, which is created from waste glass and ceramics. SilicaStone can be used indoors and out. A versatile and highly durable material, it can be used in table-tops, flooring and wall treatments in the workplace and public realm.

A guest material maker, Made of Air are combatting climate change. In an extraordinary process Made Of Air’s material is formed of waste biomass – atmospheric carbon – that has been baked into a solid char – where the CO2 is converted into carbon. This material can then be used to create a sustainable alternative material for use in construction, interiors and furniture. By repurposing and eventually landfilling, the material completes a larger circle: the carbon loop, returning the carbon originally burned into the atmosphere, back to the ground.

Another guest Poppy Pippin has created a range of terracotta ‘Moss Tiles’, designed to encourage moss growth. Applied in public realm areas the tiles can help absorb carbon dioxide, enhancing the surrounding air quality.

Exhibiting at the Surface Design Show 2019, PHEE (stand 544) recycles washed-up Sea Grass to make a variety of items from sunglasses to phone cases and furniture. A true sustainability project, PHEE aims to promote environmental and social responsibility.

Registration for Surface Design Show 2019 is free and now open at

Swarovski continues its mission to make women look and feel brilliant with the launch of its SS19 Collection

January 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Sunshine is the theme at the heart of Swarovski’s bright new collection, consisting of four programmes: Spring, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Summer. Taking inspiration from a journey across the Mediterranean, the collection channels a vacation mood and celebrates the radiance and sparkle as seen throughout Swarovski’s rich 120-year history.

Through this versatile collection that offers brilliance for all, Creative Director Nathalie Colin explores the beautiful interplay of light and crystal, as well as the way sunlight creates joy and illuminates a woman’s inner and outer beauty.

“Sunshine induces happiness. I love the way it transforms crystal as well as our mood. This collection is about escape, joy and looking at life in a positive way. We invite women to disconnect from the urban craze and reconnect with life and sunshine-filled moments inspired by the Mediterranean. From Tangiers to Thessaloniki, Capri to Corfu, Santorini to Sicily, our designs reimagine treasures found during our journey; amulets and talismans, sea life, ice creams and colorful cocktails.” explains Colin.

Playful, bold, feminine and uplifting jewelry and accessories offer a perfect mix of something new and exciting for the multifaceted modern woman. While cleverly edited trends and exquisite techniques seamlessly combine with a vibrant, sunny palette of delectable shades: strawberry red, candy pink, mint green, golden yellow and intense blue.

Valentine’s Day exudes a brilliant modern romance with a fresh take on symbols inspired by love and the idyllic destinations of Formentera, Capri, Portofino and Stromboli.

Spring into style with Origins, a family that channels a bustling Moroccan market with intricate amulets in warm golden tones that add a sense of ease and meaning to every occasion.

You are my sunshine is the message for Mother’s Day and sweet, delicate and ultra-feminine designs such as Oxygen bring understated sparkle to everyday looks.

Retro-inspired resort fashion with a hint of Italian Dolce Vita and Riviera style is the flavor of the summer. And lending a little sparkle and sunshine to every day is No Regrets, a fresh and fun depiction of ice cream and fruit in vibrant Swarovski Pointiage®.
New styles bring even more brilliance to the versatile, game-changing Swarovski Remix Collection that offers women seemingly endless ways to shine and express themselves.

Associated with hope, joy and confidence, sunshine is the forecast for the season ahead. Swarovski’s new collection looks inject the season with style, sparkle and feel good vibes with jewelry and accessories that will make the day and women around the world feel brilliant and bright.

Spring Fair 2019 set to inform and inspire visitors with fashion showcase

January 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

FashionFirst to bring together newest and freshest brands

For the second year running, Spring Fair 2019, the UK’s all-encompassing sourcing marketplace, is to bring together the UK’s most exciting and unique fashion sector newcomers as part of its FashionFirst showcase.

Alongside bellwether exhibitors in the Fashion, Jewellery & Luggage sectors, the FashionFirst area will provide a platform for fresh brands to profile their diverse and unique offerings that set them apart from competitors.

With more spaces added for FashionFirst to meet demand, Spring Fair will be looking forward to welcoming some interesting debut exhibitors, including the likes of MrD London, handmade sterling silver jewellery makers, Joolzery, Kimchi and Coconut and YHIM Limited.

12 exhibitors will feature in the area, complementing over 400 exhibitors showcasing as part of the Fashion, Jewellery & Luggage and Jewellery & Watch sectors at the show. With cross-buying opportunities aplenty, the showcases are ideally placed to serve the multi-faceted needs of today’s retailers, whether traditional jewellers, fashion outlets, gifting specialists, or e-commerce giants. Visitors can look forward to seeing the likes of Brakeburn, Dansk Smykkekunst, Treaty Jewellery and Big Metal London, as well as new exhibitor, Lily&Me Clothing.

Melissa Baytas, Account Manager at Spring Fair, said: “FashionFirst’s addition to the Fashion showcase will be an exciting turn for 2019 Spring Fair. As part of our continued commitment to offering newness for our buyers, FashionFirst will put forward only the most intriguing and ground-breaking brands.

High on buyers’ agendas this year will be ethically-sourced produce, socks, and with leopard print, snakeskin and other nature-inspired designs being on-trend at the moment, it’s likely there’ll be an array of colourful, sustainable fashion accessories and jewellery on offer.

With the introduction of FashionFirst, Spring Fair 2019’s fashion showcase is set to be an unmissable buying destination at a pivotal moment in the calendar, ensuring buyers and retailers can be perfectly prepared for the year ahead.”

Spring Fair runs from the 3rd to 7th February 2019 at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre. Register to attend for free here:

The Trade Secret for Tomorrow’s Retailers

January 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

By Matt Harris, Director – Retail and Consumer Goods Practice Lead at ISG (Information Services Group)

The retail leaders of tomorrow are working hard to construct a new baseline: increased transparency, focus on the customer rather than the product, and decision-making that is data-driven as opposed to instinct-driven. All of these depend on the same thing: technology.

If this is true, then why do only a small number of retailers define technology as an integral part of retail operations? We regularly hear the phrase “the business and IT,” as if IT is an innocent bystander watching the business evolve and grow of its own accord. We rarely hear “the business and marketing” or “the business and merchandising,” so why is it that IT is set apart from its peers in retail organizations?

In today’s retail market, technology is critically important to practically every business process – from buying and merchandising, to supplying goods, pricing, running promotions and making decisions on stock placement and order routing. Technology has underpinned nearly every customer and employee interaction, and almost every success story in the retail industry since the turn of the century. It can transform an enterprise’s ability to get products and services to market quickly and meet the rapidly changing needs of customers. However, it is still often seen as a blocker – as a set of legacy assets that inhibit business agility, and even as an excuse for why things can’t happen.

So what is the solution? The days of three years and $100 million to implement an enterprise resource software package are far behind us. Customers will no longer wait that long when competition in the retail market is so fierce. Understanding technology – and its power to differentiate a brand – is the hallmark of the successful retail leader of the future. Technology can keep a retailer closely aligned to its customers and will help it adapt quickly to changing expectations.

For example, a grocer that starts shipping groceries online can use technology to overcome significant obstacles in the industry, including new regulations, changing commerce policy, scalability challenges and even volatility in its share price. In the UK, the online grocer, Ocado, has done just this with immense success. When the company initially launched at the turn of the century, it defined a business mission to use technology and automation to create an online grocery business – and to do so with scalability, sustainability and profitability. One of the key reasons that Ocado remains a leading grocer in the UK today is that it reinvests profits from the business back into building its technology platform for the longer term.

Thinking of technology as “the IT department” and failing to align it to business objectives is a surefire way to inhibit the speed of change and miss the grand opportunity of the digital age. On the other hand, thinking of IT as a facilitator of sustainable innovation can open the doors to a host of new possibilities – both in terms of competitive advantage and internal culture.

The Bullring Estate signs pizza restaurant

January 11th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

The Bullring Estate, Birmingham’s iconic shopping destination that comprises the Bullring, Grand Central, and Link Street, has announced that @pizza has signed for its second restaurant, and first in England at Grand Central.

The Birmingham restaurant’s open kitchen and counter service will allow customers to choose from unlimited toppings for just £9.95, with a total of 64,000 possible combinations. Customers can order drinks and pay whilst their pizza is cooked in front of them, or use an order and collect app, which is exclusive to the new site at Grand Central.

The menu features recommended combinations, such as the best-selling Heartbreaker – a Roquito pepper sauce base with Scottish mozzarella, red onion, pepperoni, Italian sausage, jalapenos, rosemary and sriracha sauce, with coeliac diners able to enjoy the option of a gluten-free base. @pizza also has a range of dessert pizzas and gelato for those with a sweeter tooth, plus a drinks offering that includes house craft soda made with sustainable cane sugar, locally brewed beers, Italian wines and a bespoke range of cocktails.

Designed by Fusion by Design, the interior fit out will feature urban materials and monochrome decor, with an open kitchen allowing the food to stand out. In-line with @pizza’s commitment to sustainability and the environment, all packaging is made from vegetables and is 100% compostable. The restaurant’s pizza oven also incorporates a catalytic converter to help reduce emissions.

Iain Mitchell, Commercial Director at Hammerson commented on the signing: “The award-winning @pizza concept is a brilliant addition to our food and beverage line-up at Grand Central. With a respectable ethos and impressive offer, @pizza brings an exciting and unique dining experience; there is no doubt that the brand will be greatly received by our visitors.”

Rupert Lyle, founder and CEO of @pizza added: “Great pizza is an essential ingredient for every city, so we’re excited to bring our concept to Birmingham and show diners what we’re all about. @pizza fits in with the speed of modern-day life, being easy to order and quick to make, but quality ingredients, careful preparation and service with a smile are at our absolute core – making for an uncompromised, unrivalled pizza experience. Situated above the busy New Street station and amongst several leading restaurant operators, this prime unit in the heart of Grand Central provides the ideal opportunity to open our next store.”

Christmasworld 2019: event highlights

January 11th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Image courtesy of Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH/Pietro Sutera

These days, an attractive product range and striking product presentation are the prerequisites for winning over customers. From 25 to 29 January 2019, Christmasworld will give international retailers numerous suggestions and impulses for a successful business season in 2019/20.

In times of digitisation, all things that make life easier and better are what counts – both online and offline. Online shopping continues to experience strong growth. At the same time, customers buying presents in retail shops expect a Christmassy atmosphere and a special shopping experience. In addition, shopping needs to be as easy and convenient as possible. This is how the stationary retail trade can build on the success levers of convenience and experience, and play to its traditional strengths, such as proximity, confidence, service and advice. As the leading international trade fair for festive and seasonal decorations, Christmasworld will be exploring these factors in its supporting programme. It will show how a magical display at the point of sale can be created with an exquisite selection of products – thus drawing many buyers into shops and city centres.

Christmasworld Trends (Centerpiece, Hall 11.0, C 40)
Whether gentle, natural, happy or glamorous – the Christmasworld Trends for 2019/20, ‘tender festivities’, ‘essential ceremonies’, ‘sweet traditions’ and ‘luminous celebrations’ show what will be in demand in the future! The trend area will display the colours, designs and materials for the coming season and provide valuable suggestions for putting product ranges together.

The colour world for ‘tender festivities’ ranges from light pastels, to neutral, purist nuances and cool gold. With ‘essential ceremonies’, there are earthy, warm tones and a matcha tea green. ‘Sweet traditions’ really whets the appetite for more colour – with gingerbread, peach, nougat, bittersweet, strawberry ice, rum raisin, coconut and evergreen shades. ‘Luminous celebrations’ plays with vibrant, strong colours, combined with elegant dark tones.

The curated special show is being developed and implemented by Stilbüro bora.herke.palmisano, on behalf of Messe Frankfurt. This time, it will form the Centerpiece in Hall 11.0 and provide inspiration with a concentrated selection of exhibitors’ products. The experts from the design studio will be giving daily talks in the Christmasworld Forum: 25 to 28 January 2019: 11.00 and 13.00 hrs, 29 January 2019: 12.00 hrs.

Image courtesy of Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH/Pietro Sutera

The Kinemona Vintage special show (Centerpiece, Hall 12.0, D 40)
The special show, created by 2dezign, will serve as a source of inspiration for storytelling at the point of sale and give retailers extravagant design ideas for large areas, shop windows and shop displays. It combines saffron yellow tones with vintage elements, immersing the visitors in a special world of experiences. Fresh flowers and plants in the presentation, combined with Christmasworld exhibitors’ decorative products, are what catch the eye. Creative combinations and new perspectives create moments that are full of surprises.

Christmas Delights (Centerpiece, Hall 8.0)
Whether chocolate, biscuits and sweets, or teas, liqueurs and mulled wine – seasonal delicacies and beverages are attractive items to take home the whole year round. The Christmas Delights product area will showcase its wares in a cosy Christmas market atmosphere, inviting customers to discover and try the products.
New exhibitors are Dethlefsen & Balk, English Tea Shop (Royal Nature), Feelino, Mahlgrad, Merkle & Biskup and Schusters Spezialitäten.

Image courtesy of Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH/Pietro Sutera

Christmasworld Forum: lectures and workshops (Foyer, Hall 11.0)
A high-quality professional programme will refresh people’s knowledge and know-how and get them in shape for future opportunities and challenges. Experts will give practical tips on customer retention, profit-increasing activities at the point of sale, and developments in the retail trade. Among the experts there’ll be, for example Franz-Josef Isensee & Antje Steinkamp, Gabriela Kaiser, Andreas Sudeck or Nadine Weckardt & Rupert Fey.

Floradecora: the marketplace for successful green ideas (Galleria)
Fresh flowers, plants and ready-made flower arrangements are attractive convenience items that are always in season. They become all the more important as a complement to festive and seasonal decorations in retail shops. Most in demand are low-maintenance and long-lasting products that encourage us to bring home more fresh greenery or give it to others. The simpler the maintenance, the better. The suppliers at Floradecora are specialists in this respect. In the marketplace for fresh flowers and decorative plants at the heart of Christmasworld, trade buyers will find out all they need to know for a successful start with fresh products – from wholesalers such as DümmenOrange, Royal Flora Holland and Barendsen B.V.

Retail Boulevard (Centerpiece, Galleria)
What is the best way to present the combination of fresh and seasonal decorations? On the new ‘Retail Boulevard’, trade buyers will experience a visionary retail street: five pop-up stores will give quite specific presentation recommendations for designing a lucrative point of sale – custom-made for retail outlets, such as florists, garden centres, DIY stores, supermarkets and furniture shops.

The Premium Business Programme (Hall 8.1, Symmetry room)
Top buyers for large-scale and exterior decorations in shopping centres and commercial enterprises, experts in city marketing, and specialists in shop fitting and product displays at the point to sale, are invited to register free of charge for the Premium Business Programme. The keynote speakers for 2019 are: Dr Christian Mikunda, who will be speaking on the theme of “How light captivates – the psychology and dramaturgy of orchestrated worlds of light”. Prof Sebastian Zenker, who will explain in his lecture, “Events as urban brand communication”, how events can positively affect the image of a city. Guided tours of the fair and a large number of convenient service benefits will round off the programme. The awards ceremony for the ‘Best Christmas City’ event will mark the formal end to the day.

Image courtesy of Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH/Pietro Sutera

Combining the best of three worlds: valuable synergies from the parallel Paperworld and Creativeworld fairs
Handicrafts and decoration making, writing and giving presents, are an expression of individual style that customers like to show, and they prefer to buy everything in one place. The latest paper and stationery trends, and top themes for DIY, are the perfect complement to seasonal decorations. Christmasworld, Paperworld and Creativeworld pool this potential to make a range of products that is unique in the world. Together, the trio of fairs provides a perfect overview of the market, which helps them create a varied and diverse product range throughout the year. A new feature: for all buyers, who are looking for the latest wrapping paper and packaging materials, there is an express shuttle between Halls 9 & 11 and 3.1. This makes the direct connection between Christmasworld’s product range and Paperworld’s stationery range. In addition, Ulla Büning will be demonstrating the latest gift-wrapping trends in her live presentations in the café in Hall 3.1.

Diebold Nixdorf’s Storevolutiontm showcase at NRF® 2019 enables retailers to cash in with digital consumer engagement

January 11th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Partners with Google and Instagram to digitally drive in-store sales

Diebold Nixdorf (NYSE: DBD), a world leader in enabling connected commerce, will showcase solutions that empower retailers to transform consumer and staff journeys at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2019: Retail’s Big Show, Jan. 13-15 in New York. In booth #4800, retailers can experience Diebold Nixdorf’s software-powered solutions driving its Storevolution™ strategy designed to enable seamless, intuitive and connected retail journeys across physical and digital touchpoints.

As the in-store retail experience continues to evolve, Diebold Nixdorf understands the critical need to put the consumer at the heart of this transformation and integrate digitally-enhanced solutions to best meet their demands. The company offers an agile suite of personalized consumer engagement options, mobile enabled touchpoints and store automation systems. Retailers can deliver targeted, personalized consumer experiences with the DN VynamicTM Retail Software Suite. In partnership with Google, Vynamic Demand and Vynamic Engage enable retailers to close the loop on digital advertising from mobile and online all the way through in-store and point of sale – providing retailers with specific ad attribution statistics. Diebold Nixdorf has also partnered with Instagram to offer similar, personalized advertising via the popular social platform. Retailers can now reach people with relevant ‘just in time’ advertising when and where they want to shop in specific areas or products.

Another demonstration shows how consumers can initiate a request through their smartphone via Vynamic Mobile Retail for help or information on a product in an exact location in-store. The service request is sent to all store staff along with the location of the consumer. To further personalize the shopping experience, Vynamic Mobile Retail supports promotions related to shoppers’ actual position and profile with Vynamic Engage.

Diebold Nixdorf is reinventing self-service to increase speed, convenience and automation across various segments and store formats. Based on transaction data from stores

around the world, StorevolutionTM Advisory Services designs the transformation of the retailers’ checkout zone by utilizing self-service technology like the BEETLE/iSCAN eXpress, the K-two or Personal Self-Scanning devices, paired with RFID technology or artificial intelligence. Retailer-specific integrations of self-service technology enhance the consumer experience, stimulate personalized consumer interactions and, therefore, drive sales.

On display are also innovative solutions specifically geared towards quick service restaurants (QSRs), including a smart fridge using weight recognition to add chosen items to consumer’s purchases and automatically initiate a re-order, and image recognition, connected to self-service kiosks to automate the checkout process and enhance overall store and restaurant operations.

“More and more, we’re seeing the impact of digital solutions on the retail landscape and how powerful the shopping experience truly is,” said Hermann Wimmer, senior vice president, global retail at Diebold Nixdorf. “We are committed to meeting our customer’s demands and partnering with industry leaders such as Google and Instagram to offer highly personalized, operationally efficient solutions to create the store of the future.”

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