Paul Smith, Buying Director, Chessington Garden Centre UK
The Chessington Garden Centre UK has everything the green heart desires: Outdoor Living, Outdoor Cooking and Outdoor Gardening. We spoke to Paul Smith about how important spoga+gafa is for him and his team.
Starting next year, the date of spoga+gafa will be postponed permanently to the first half of the year. What impact do you expect from the new date?
We were obviously disappointed that spoga+gafa had to be cancelled this year so we are very happy that we don’t have to wait until September 2021 to have the opportunity to see the new trends and innovations. The move to the first half of the year is excellent news for us as ordering for the next season is being done earlier and earlier each year. We will have more time to think through what we have seen before placing our orders. It is also nice to see the organisers listen to the exhibitors and visitors in moving the trade fair to the new date.
spoga+gafa is one of the most important leading international trade fairs for the garden lifestyle industry. Why is spoga+gafa an important source of inspiration for your business?
I have been bringing my team to spoga+gafa for the last three or four years and look forward to our annual visit. Thanks to the fair we have built some very important relationships with suppliers that were new for us. 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us but has brought renewed interest to the sector as people turned their attention back to their garden during the lockdown period. As it is safe to meet people outside in the garden our customers have been willing to invest in new garden furniture and outdoor living and we have seen growth in this area.
spoga+gafa is unmissable for me and I always bring my team with me so that we are all up to date with what is happening in the industry. It is, as you say, the most important trade fair for the garden lifestyle industry. This is the area we particularly like to see in Cologne together with what colours and trends will be in vogue for the following year. Meeting people in person is essential for creating and sustaining business relationships and we value this opportunity.
Will you also be at spoga+gafa in 2021?
Of course we will! As I said, it is one of the most important events of the year for us. We look forward to being there.