Glee 2017: bolder, brighter and brimming with freshness

A new chapter for the UK’s leading annual garden retail exhibition

Glee is as much a part of the gardening calendar as pruning, the first cut of the lawn and cold crisp mornings that accompany the first trips to the greenhouse. But unlike these annual milestones, Glee is changing; it’s growing and developing for the greater good of garden retailing.

As garden retailing continues to look at ways to adapt to changing consumer spending habits, as well as attracting a new pool of customers, so must Glee look at what it offers to the industry it represents. This year, visitors to the show will find a bigger, fresher and bolder Glee – full of innovative feature content, tangible business advice and the strongest collection of brands ready and willing to forge relationships with retailers.

Matthew Mein, Glee’s Event Director, said: “Glee 2017 is the start of an exciting new chapter for the show. We’ll still be offering the core elements that are the main reason why retailers attend, but we’re also building additional content that will add real value, and provide our visitors with inspiration and valuable advice that will help them to future proof their businesses. All of this will be underpinned by our new look, that we believe is demonstrative of the changes that our industry is undertaking, through adopting more innovative and contemporary approaches to retailing.

“We are confident that the changes we have made means that Glee is now, more than ever, an event for all aspects of garden retailing – from sourcing new products, to gathering information on how to tap into a younger consumer demographic, inspirational merchandising advice, future-facing business concepts and the freshest trend information. Glee is an event for everyone from the category buyers to the chief executives. We guarantee that a day at Glee is a day well spent.”

What’s new at Glee 2017

Retail Lab @ Glee

The Retail Lab @ Glee is the show’s crowning glory in 2017. This dedicated area will provide an interactive hub full of inspirational and educational content, as well as the latest trend information.  Created by a panel of industry experts, the Retail Lab @ Glee is unlike any previous feature – providing visitors with a long-term vision for their retail environments.

Focussing on consumer engagement, market insight and effective access to future facing trend information, the Retail Lab @ Glee will be located at the very heart of the show.  Combining interactive content, guided tours, and self-learning material, visitors will be able to arm themselves with content that not just inspires but will also drive them to action new retailing ideas within their own stores. The aim of all of this being to help retailers to grow both their offering and business, whilst also targeting new customers.


Split into four sections, the area will focus on four key consumer themes as identified by the Retail Lab’s Creative Director, Romeo Sommers, and world-leading trend experts, WGSN. These themes will be: Well-being, Family, Community, and ‘Re-wilding’.


New branding reflective of future retailing

Rolled out across Glee marketing collateral, dedicated website and throughout the show itself, the new look has been designed to breathe new life into Glee, creating a visual backdrop that is both modern and relevant, and unlike anything that the show has seen before.

The inspiration for the innovative design came from leading trend forecasters, WGSN’s latest research. From the colours that will be ‘in’ throughout the coming season, to creating a look that packs a punch, Glee’s new creative is set to inspire and excite both exhibitors and visitors alike.


Retail Services


Featuring a bold new colour palette of the latest pantone colours, the new logo will be supported by new sector specific logos, designed to make navigating the various aspects of the show much easier. The overall branding also benefits from using photographic negative images that together with the new colours create a real eye-catching and contemporary design.






Matthew added: “Glee is in great shape – in fact, the 2017 event will be the strongest showcase we’ve been able to offer for some years. We have reached maximum capacity, and are on track to deliver over 550 exciting brands, including 150 international suppliers, as well a wealth of new and lapsed brands.  Look out for thousands of new product launches, including tomorrow’s bestsellers, today. It’s fair to say that this year’s Glee exhibition is set to be one of the most exciting showcases of garden retail and outdoor living brands, products and added value content anywhere in the UK.”



Whether you are looking to source the latest innovations or core best sellers for the year ahead, Glee will offer it all.  Encompassing eight dedicated product sectors, Glee is the leading annual showcase for the whole of the garden industry and an essential diary date for any garden retailer, landscaper or merchant.


Garden Care is Glee’s most thriving area, and this year is set to feature everything from growing media, compost, fertilisers, and GYO products to garden machinery, garden tools and accessories.


Key exhibitors for Glee Garden Care include Westland, Gardman, Scotts Miracle Gro Company, Smart Garden, Spear & Jackson, Hozelock, Fiskars, Elho, Briers, Whitefurze, STV International, Vitax, Taylors Bulbs, Bord na Mona, DLF, Fallen Fruits, Burgon & Ball, Panacea, Garland, SBM Life Science Ltd, Haws Watering Cans, Taylors Bulbs, Town & Country, and Rollins Bulldog Tools.


Glee’s Landscaping and Garden Decoration provides an unrivalled showcase of influential brands and leaders in garden and landscaping design.  Featuring stunning displays, this area of Glee is a must-see section of the show, featuring many best-practice examples of how to cross-sell products in situ. From hard landscaping and aggregates to fencing, garden buildings and decorative accents such as pots, structures, soft landscaping, statuary, water features and timber supplies, Landscaping and Garden Decoration has everything to help garden retailers, builders’ merchants and landscapers to maximise those products that create the framework of every garden.


Exhibitors confirmed so far for the 2017 show include Kelkay, Woodlodge, Zest 4 Leisure, Apta, Yorkshire Flower Pots, Grange Fencing, Deco-Pak, Deroma, Cadix, Cadac, Hamac, Melmar Stone, Meadowview Stone, Onduline Building Products Ltd, Pearsons of Duns, Eden Greenhouses, Ascalon Design, Bathgate Silica and Vivid Arts.


Karcher, Flymo, Bosch, Gardena and Handy Distribution will also be showcasing the most exciting machinery innovations to hit the market ahead of the 2018 season.


Outdoor Entertaining is the place to source products that really enable people to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle, and will feature the best from the industry’s leading companies, making it the ideal opportunity for buyers looking to source next year’s ranges and tap into growing leisure demand.  Showing everything from garden furniture, barbeques and parasols to chimeneas, conservatory and indoor furniture, play equipment and camping essentials will be Webber, Adobe, Besp-Oak Furniture, Premier Decorations, CPL Distribution, Brundle Gardener, Gardeco, Kettle Interiors merchandising techniques, La Hacienda, La Siesta and Kadai Firebowls.


Plants is where buyers can shop for the best in nursery stock, bedding plants, house plants, cut flowers, trees and shrubs, herbs and florist sundries from both UK and international growers; as well as seeing the latest plant trends and.  This year – for the first time –  the 2017 exhibition will be home to its very first Flemish growers pavilion, as VLAM, Flanders’ Agricultural Marketing Board, joins the show.  The Flemish Pavilion (Hall 20, stand H30) will be home to a host of top growers under the VLAM banner, all ready to showcase their industry leading horticultural products. Many of the Flemish brands will also join Glee’s Green Heart, to demonstrate merchandising best practice.


The Green Heart is now a firm fixture at Glee.  Located at the entrance to Glee within the atrium area of the NEC, this new area will see 40+ growers come together to create a leading showcase for both British and internationally grown plants, and will put ‘green’ right back into the centre of the show.


Key exhibitors confirmed for Glee Plant and the Green Heart will include Javado, Lowater Nursery, SP Trading (Scotland), Van Poecke & Zn, Artopya, Laurica Plants, Morleys Nurseries, VLAM, Wharton Nurseries, Chessum Plants and Darby Nursery Stock, Wyevale Nurseries, Hawkesmill Nurseries, Chapel Cottage Plants.


Gifts, homeware and outdoor clothing are increasingly becoming big business within garden retail.  Offering an unrivalled opportunity to maximise year-round sales, from Mothers’ Day to Christmas, these product categories are also ideal for driving impulse sales as consumers look to add value to their homes and gardens with stylish accessories, as well as wanting to look good in the garden.   Glee Home, Gift & Clothing brings together a huge selection of product ideas to help your gift offering stand out.  Added to this, the section also features additional, added value product lines such as clothing ranges, picnicware and seasonal decorations, plus games, toys and books.


Exhibitors already confirmed for Home Gift & Clothing in 2017 include Villeroy & Boch, Kettle Interiors, Aigle, Abacus Cards, The Great British Card Company, Bronte by Moon, The Oxford Shirt Company, Woodstock Chimes, Evergreen, Chive, Crystal World. Demar, Global Journey, Hellmann-Versand GmbH, Fountasia International, Turtle Mat Company, Home & Garden UK, House of Tweed, Neat Ideas, HJ Hall, Rayburn Trading, Seedball, and Sincere.

Pet suppliers looking to maximise the boom of pet product sales within garden centres will find their home within Glee’s dedicated pet sector. Supported by the PetQuip Business Village, and featuring exhibitors within the wider parts of the show, Pet at Glee will showcase the newest product innovation from a range of suppliers including Petface, Scruffs, Trilanco, Group 55, GA Pet Food Partners, , Loving Pet Products, PACDOG, PetMaxi, Pet Rebellion, The Barking Bakery, The Dog Treat Company, Unipet and Aristocrat Pet Supplies.

Finally, any garden retailer wanting to maximise the profitability and efficiency of their own store, won’t want to miss the wide range of retail support suppliers within Retail Services and Experiences and the dedicated Food & Catering sector.  Offering the latest innovations, technologies and equipment for etailers – including EPoS, shop fitting and display stands, structures, software solutions, garden centre design, as well as catering expertise will be Pleydell Smithyman, Quinton Edwards, BBQ Gourmet, Caterleisure, Bidvest, Creative Poducts, Davidson-Richards, Smiemans Projecten B.V., Stagecraft Display, Swan Retail, THERMOFLOR B.V., Floramedia, Garden Connect, National Structures, Open Retail Solutions, Tudor Tea & Coffee, and Vision Commercial Kitchens, Whitco Catering and Bakery Equipment.



The New Product Showcase and Glee Awards

The New Product Display is the place to head to see the most innovative, unique and commercial products from the hundreds of suppliers at Glee. The competition sees new designs and products perfectly displayed for your consideration, with the best of each category receiving the accolade of a ‘Glee Award.’ This year the awards roster will also include a Consumers’ choice and Best of British award. Show visitors can also cast their vote for their favourite, awarding one lucky entrant with the title of ‘Retailers Choice Award’.


Seminar content, in association with The HTA

As always Glee will offer visitors a free, three-day Seminar Programme organised in conjunction with the HTA (Horticultural Trades Association). This year, the seminar theatre will make its home within the Retail Lab at the heart of Glee, providing an enriched programme of expert business and garden retail advice to help grow your business through challenging trading conditions. This content will be derived from extensive industry research and is set to tackle key talking points, struggles and successes. Topics will include risk management, managing the growth of your business, market trends, cost management, supplier sourcing, multi-channel selling and staffing.


The latest trends will also be addressed within a special session with WGSN’s Lisa White, who will be looking at what will be ‘big’ in spring/summer 2018, including a focus on product, material and colour. WGSN define what’s next so businesses can make smarter decisions today. It’s global trend forecasters and data scientists obsessively decode the future to provide the authoritative view on tomorrow. They build locally sourced, globally relevant content including daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services, making them one of the world-leading trend forecasters and analytics companies.


Glee Innovators Zone

Launched in 2009, the Glee Innovators Zone has already helped more than 200 companies break into the garden retail market.  This special area is designed to help nurture valuable grass-roots product development and one-off design ideas, whilst also bridging the gap between market-ready new product launches from established companies and pre-commercial product ideas.  This year Glee’s Innovators Zone will be home to over 30 brand new companies, including Screen with Envy, Coffee Logs, Jardinice, and Lucien Fevriero.


Innovation will also be celebrated within GIMA’s Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund (GISCF). Since its launch in 2014, the GISCF has already witnessed great success. All previous winners have gone on to enjoy great commercial success; going from new brands to established and growing suppliers within the garden retail market. Vicky Nuttall, director of GIMA said: “The GISCF is designed to help start-up businesses take their product from concept to reality, and with a £5,000 prize fund up for grabs it is always a hotly contested part of our annual programme of activities. The calibre of entries in recent years has been of the highest quality, and this year is certainly no different. We look forward to announcing the 2017 winner at Glee in September.”


Buyers Power List

First launched to the market at Glee 2015 – and receiving a wholly positive response from the garden retail industry – the Buyers Power List is designed to provide suppliers and retailers with a platform to recognise the individual buyers and buying teams who have gone above and beyond to make a difference, and whose decisions are helping the garden retail industry to thrive.

This year there will be five individual categories – Best Independent Garden Centre, Best Multiple Garden Centre, Best DIY / Builder Merchant Buying Team, Best Online Buyer/ Buying Team and Best ‘Other’ Garden Retail Buyer/Buying Team – with votes invited from across the industry, with everyone from heads of purchasing to suppliers eligible to vote.

GIMA Business Village

The GIMA Business Village is home to a great selection of up and coming companies exhibiting with the support of GIMA.  Glee is also pleased to present the GIMA Business Lounge, an ideal place to take a break, arrange meetings and catch up with key suppliers. It is also home to the “Buyers Connect” speed networking sessions which will see selected exhibitors meet with show visitors for 10-minute power-networking sessions.


International Buyers Centre

International visitors will find the International Buyers Centre (IBC) in partnership with Gardenex a useful resource.  Located in Hall 18, the IBC will be led by the team at Gardenex, who will be on hand to provide support and advice as well as translation services to international buyers and visitors.  The International Buyers Centre will also be home to a two-hour session of “Meet the International Buyer”, enabling UK suppliers to have short introductory meetings with a few selected international buyers.



Entry to Glee is free of charge to all pre-registered visitors.  Simply register via the Glee website  All pre-registered visitors will save £20 on the door, as well as receiving the Glee show preview if requested before the show to help plan their visit.


Glee 2017 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from Monday 11th to Wednesday 13th September and opens between 9.00am and 6:00pm (Monday & Tuesday) and 4:00pm (Wednesday).  To find out the latest news and to register for free entry, please visit  For details on exhibiting at Glee, call 0203 033 2160.


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Getting there

Glee takes place at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, and is easily reached by car, rail and air.  If you are arriving by car, follow regional signs to the NEC where visitor car parking is plentiful and free.  All halls are within walking distance, but a free shuttle bus service is also available from car parks to the Halls.  Rail travel is equally convenient with Birmingham International railway station located on the NEC site.  For international visitors Birmingham International Airport (BHX) is linked to the NEC by the free SkyRail, departing every few minutes and taking just 90 seconds.  National Express Coaches run a regular service to and from the NEC covering most UK locations.


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10 reasons to visit Glee 2017

  1. The world’s best opportunity to source world-leading gardening and outdoor living products. Over 550 UK and international suppliers will be showcasing their new ranges at Glee 2017.
  2. Thousands of new products to set you apart from your competitors. Each year Glee is home to thousands of new product launches. Don’t miss the New Product Showcase where the most innovative, unique and commercial products from the hundreds of suppliers at Glee will be displayed.
  3. First look at future trends. From exhibitors to industry experts, Glee is the place where future trends are born.
  4. Inspiration & education at the heart of the show. The introduction of the Retail Lab @ Glee will provide future proofing information and advice for any retailers. This is a not to be missed part of the exhibition.
  5. Effective use of buying time. Glee offers full spectrum of garden retail categories: Garden Care, Landscaping & Garden Decoration; Outdoor Entertaining; Plants & Nursery; Home, Gift & Clothing; Retail Experiences; and Pet.
  6. More value in one day. With a revised floorplan, new signage and branding, and a refreshed website it has never been easier to navigate your way around Glee, making every second at the show more effective than ever before.
  7. Innovation at every turn. Glee’s Innovators Zone is designed to help nurture valuable grass-roots product development and one-off design ideas, whilst also bridging the gap between market-ready new product launches from established companies and pre-commercial product ideas.
  8. Learning opportunities. Glee will offer visitors a free, three-day Seminar Programme organised in conjunction with the HTA (Horticultural Trades Association).
  9. Network, network, network. Glee offers an unrivalled opportunity to network with your peers, and provides the perfect platform to meet with new and existing customers. Meeting rooms are also available.
  10. Free entry; easy to register. Entry to Glee is free for all pre-registered trade visitors. To pre-register, visit




For more information, interviews or images please contact:

Kimberley Hornby, Glee PR Team, Hornby Whitefoot PR

Tel: 07851 60573               Email:


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About Ascential plc

Ascential plc is an information company that informs and connects the business world in 150 countries through market-leading Exhibitions & Festivals and Information Services.

Ascential powers the prestigious Cannes Lions festival for the branded communications industry, the world’s premier payments and financial services congress Money20/20, Spring Fair/Autumn Fair, the global fashion trend forecasting service WGSN, environmental risk data business Groundsure, e-commerce analytics provider One Click Retail and advisory and business services firm, MediaLink.

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