What will be Totally best in show for 2013?

Published:  25 January, 2013

With the Totally Shows opening date drawing near, final arrangements for this year's panel of experienced retail judges for the shows' ‘Best New Product’ Awards, sponsored by DIY industry publisher Faversham House are now in place. In addition, exhibitors are being encouraged to ensure their new products are listed for a spot in the shows’ New Product Zone display area.

This year’s judges are Mark Nixon, owner of Right Price DIY in Shepton Mallet, and recent joint winner of ‘Hardware Store of the Year’ at the DIY Week Awards; Sarah Critchard, product co-ordinator at Axminster Tools, also a winner at the DIY Week Awards, carrying off ‘Tool Retailer of the Year; Pritesh Pancholi of Melton Ironmongers in Leicester and last year’s ‘Young Retailer of the Year’ awarded by the British Hardware Federation, plus Paul Andrews, product manager DIY for Home Hardware and David Dickens, who is not only managing director of Martin & Partners, builders and plumbers merchants, but also serves on the management board of the National Merchants Buying Society (NMBS) and is a member of the Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) which is exhibiting at the show this year for the first time.

The judges will be briefed and chaired by DIY Week editor Fiona Hodge. They will have the first morning of the show to identify their favourite new products from across the shows. The winning products will be announced at the end of Sunday, and be given pride of place in the New Product Zone for the remainder of the show.

This year’s free seminar programme will run on Monday and Tuesday, and will feature speakers from leading market research companies GfK Retail & Technology UK Ltd and Insight DIY, and leading trade associations the European DIY Retailers Association (EDRA) and the British Independent Retailers Association (bira). In a series of short, rapid fire presentations Daniel Fearnley and Simon Foy from GfK will address ‘What are the key trends that affected the DIY market in 2012?”; Steve Collinge of Insight DIY will address the contentious area of retail pricing in the DIY sector, John Herbert, general secretary of EDRA will update visitors on the European DIY market and Michael Weedon, deputy chief executive and communications director at bira will present the latest retail news from the high street. On Monday the seminars will start at 13.45 and on Tuesday, at 11.00.

New companies are still signing up for the show, with the most recent bookings including the Ox Group, showing general construction and DIY products, Red Dot Products, which will be showing its clever ‘Magic Stud Finder’. Plus there is a unique spraying gadget from Aimspray, shelving from Newtech Hardware, a great range of pressure washers from Italian supplier Lavorwash and creative aerosol paint products from Samurai Paints which claims to offer the first 3D aerosol paint!

This month has also seen just over 17,000 nominations from exhibitors winging their way to retail and trade buyers across the UK and Europe to attend the show and claim their free lunch. The shows’ director Paul Grinsell recently undertook the onerous task of sampling the free lunch menu that they will be offered. His verdict? “Frankly, the food was not what I was expecting – it was fantastic!” said Paul. “Overall, we are very pleased with the standard of service our visitors will receive when they come to our new home in Coventry.”

Visitors to the show will also be able to take a look back at the heritage of modern DIY tools, by stopping by a display of historic hand and power tools provided John Collier, director of Monument Tools. Mr Collier’s private tools collection has been amassed over many years and he will be on hand at the show acting as the museum’s curator and guide.

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