If the mood at The Harrogate Bridal Show is anything to go by then things are certainly looking up, with the market buoyant and expectations in an upward spiral.
Visitor figures at the exhibition, which ran from 13 to 15 September, were the highest recorded for years with the halls buzzing with retailers that were ready to make key buying decisions and place substantial orders.
According to Nick Day of Justin Alexander, the company opened a surprising number of new accounts, when it had believed it would be servicing existing stockists at the show. Amanda Bradwell of Eternity Bride was another international name who came away with a bulging order book. “This show has beaten every previous record,” she said.
The show delivered more than 350 different collections, offering buyers a wide-ranging selection of silhouettes, fabrics and price points. In fact, price seemed to be less of a consideration than in recent years.
“Brides themselves are getting more and more discerning,” said Simon Ryan of Catherine Parry. “They understand quality and have that as a main criteria. Which means they are ready now to pay that bit more for the perfect dress.”
This edition of the show will be remembered as the one that saw a re-emergence of positive attitudes and a sense of excitement in what the world of bridal has to offer. Furthermore 90% of exhibitors had signed on for the 2016 show, which will be held from 11-13 September, before leaving Harrogate last week, has to indicate how strong the confidence is.
The next show in the bridal buying calendar is The London Bridal Show, taking place at Olympia 6-8 March 2016. Registration is now open at www.thelondonbridalshow.co.uk