Retailers will be leaving someone else in charge this month when they head to Telford, Shropshire, for the P&H Pro-retail 2007 on April 24-26. Once again the venue for the exhibition aimed at CTNs, forecourts, convenience stores, post offices and multiple operators will be the Telford International Centre, which will play host to more than 180 suppliers to the independent retail industry. This year the organisers are hoping for great things as the show has been the fastest selling in its 23-year history.
Last year more than 6,500 visitors packed the aisles, and similar figures are predicted by the show organisers this time around.
The message for this year's show is 'Promoting Retail Excellence', with a strong emphasis on best practice techniques to give retailers a more professional business approach. The Pro Shopper event will be back, offering Blueprint planograms across all categories, and the P&H stand has been modified to include a CTN and a convenience store format.
As well as receiving merchandising advice and expertise, visitors to the show will find product launches and innovations covering all categories.
They can also take advantage of another great visitor package, which includes free nationwide coach transport to and from the exhibition, or free car parking. Lunch and refreshments will be provided free and there is no entry charge to the show, where retailers will be provided with a free exhibition guide.
On top of the retailer package independents will be offered special deals when they place an order from the Transfer Trading brochure at the show. The Transfer Trading scheme comprises about 120 exclusive deals on ambient, chilled, frozen and alcohol lines, and lets retailers order products at the show immediately. Offers will include free stock deals such as bogofs. The Transfer Trading brochure will be sent to qualifying customers in the week prior to the show.
Retailers who are feeling lucky can try the Pro-retail prize draw.
On offer are nine top-spec dairy deck 1.8m integral high-capacity chillers worth £2,725 each. The chillers are specially designed to display soft drinks to full effect, and three are up for grabs on each of the three days of the show. Winners who are P&H trading customers will also get stock equal in retail value to that of the equipment, bringing the total prize value to £5,000.
For retailers who want to make an occasion out of the show, the Pro-retail Gala Awards Dinner takes place on the Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Each night 1,000 diners will be treated to fine food, drink and entertainment, plus the P&H award ceremonies that recognise supplier and staff performances. On Tuesday it will be the P&H Ambient awards, which includes the P&H Supplier of the Year awards, and on Wednesday it's the turn of Chilled & Frozen, Winerite and ACE suppliers.
Tickets to the Gala Awards Dinner are free to all retailers who book the 'two-day, one-night' package.
Get it here first
The Pro-retail show always features launches and offers from suppliers, and this year is no different. From Swedish Match comes the Swan Combi, a new line for P&H. Company representatives will also be on hand to discuss the new legislation for child-proof lighters.
Expertise is available from GlaxoSmithKline, too, which will be sharing its industry knowledge with visiting retailers. The company will also be unveiling new products at the show.
Looking for retailer feedback about its newest ranges will be Burton's Foods, which will be showing off the new Cadbury Half Choc range, seasonal products and new savoury lines.
Kinnerton has four new products and first-time exhibitor Fredericks will be showcasing its new Del Monte Smoothie Ice Lollies and the Cadbury Chunky Choc Ice.
From Fosters EMEA come six new easy-drinking wines in the Rosemount range, which get their first airing at the show.
On the Nestlé Purina stand retailers will be given the chance to win a 30GB iPod Video.
Confectionery company Swizzels Matlow is offering its strongest trade show deal yet at Pro-retail with a 'buy one get three' deal for P&H customers across all its biggest lines. It will also be launching five new flavours to its Refresher chew bar, including hot orange and swizzelberry.
In addition, passionberry and cherry & apple flavours join the Drumstick Lolly line-up, and it will introduce the chunky new Refresher Lollypop.