As one of the founding members of AGHA, it was great for IsAlbi to return to AGHA and the Melbourne Gift Fair this year after exhibiting with Reed Gift Fairs for 15 years, says CEO, Ian Hardy.
Independent Studios and Albi merged in February 2021 to become IsAlbi and hasn’t had the chance to exhibit at a trade show under one umbrella.
“We haven’t been able to show all our products together due to all the Covid restrictions and no trade fairs being held,” says Hardy.
“So, the Melbourne Gift Fair is the first real opportunity for buyers so see it all in one place, like a one-stop-shop.”
While the company organised a new season launch in July and flew buyers from all around the country to its showroom in Melbourne for a preview of its key products, Hardy still believes in the benefits of trade shows, even though he has seen foot traffic decline both in Australia and overseas.
“Globally, trade shows are decreasing in both attendance and exhibitor numbers, we have seen that over the last few years and obviously Covid hasn’t really helped. But it’s one of the things we want to keep going, we want to keep the retail trade prosper.”
With 40 salespeople on the show floor to help buyers navigate their way through all the new collections, the brand’s staples were the most popular including Euroscrubby, Frosty the melting snowman and the latest Rogue collection.
“We have just rebranded Rogue. We have appointed a new brand manager, Vanessa Wong, and she has really injected a lot of newness and freshness into the brand. For example, the new line of handmade orchids looks fantastic and we’ve had a great reaction to that.
“People are creatures of habit, so they go for what they know, what’s been tried and tested. They might take a few gambles, but one of the key products that was sold at the fair has been one of the top selling products for the last six years.”
IsAlbi is also releasing four new print catalogues this year for kitchen, gift, homewares and Rogue.
“We are putting a lot of effort into our new print catalogues. Many are stepping away from this and moving to digital, but we still think they are important. We are sending them out to all our customers, so those who couldn’t make it to the fair they can still check out all the new ranges.”