Glee 2019 set to showcase the future of garden retailing

As garden retailing continues to thrive, with double digit year-on-year growth, the future for our industry continues to look bright. One place where this optimism will shine through will be the forthcoming Glee exhibition (10th – 12th September, NEC Birmingham), where 550 plus suppliers will join with 7,000 UK and international key decision makers, buyers and trend setters, to showcase the future of gardening.   

Matthew Mein, Glee’s Event Director, said: “The market is reporting a strong start to the 2019 season, with sales up 37% year-on-year. A combination of good weather, and consumers retreating to their homes in a time of economic uncertainty, has paid dividends for our industry. As such we move into the 2019 event with a sense of excitement regarding the future development and growth of our sector. From an engaged audience, the potential of the ‘millennial pound’, new tech hitting the market, and a wealth of existing ranges continuing to hit the mark, Glee 2019 will be a thriving hub for the garden retail market, offering unrivalled value for both suppliers and visitors.”

What’s new at Glee 2019

Educational content will bring business growth opportunities to the fore

Building more content to help support the continuous growth of gardening in the UK will be a key theme of the 2019 event. Look out for more features, seminar sessions and new-for-2019 workshops, and year-round information relating to trends, merchandising and practical advice on ways to build better business, whilst also tackling the most burning issues set to affect the industry in the years ahead.

The purrfect place to source pet products – Pets at Glee to grow

Bigger and better than ever before, ‘Pets at Glee’ will be a thriving section of Glee, designed to make it even easier for garden centre pet buyers to directly source 2020 ranges.






Featuring a multi-functional space, Pets at Glee will house interactive workshops aimed at helping garden centres start their pet retail journey, as well as provide visual merchandising inspiration that touches on key areas of pet retail including pet food, accessories, luxury and technology. It will also house a dedicated networking space for pet retailers and garden centres to connect with each other to share their experiences through facilitated speed networking sessions.


There will also be a dedicated Pet New Product Showcase, which will showcase the latest and great new product innovations from Pets at Glee exhibitors. This year the showcase will feature nine award categories made up of: Best Pet Clothing Product, Best Pet Toys and Entertainment, Best Pet Accessories (Collars, Leads, Muzzles, Harnesses), Best Pet Health, Grooming and Cleaning, Best Pet Bedding and Travel (housing, carriers, cages, baskets), Best Pet Food and Treats, Best Pet Technology, Best Eco Initiative Pet Product Award and Best Overall New Product for Pets at Glee.


PetQuip – the leading international trade association for manufacturers and suppliers of pet care goods and services – has also confirmed that it will be continuing its support for the PetQuip Business Village.






Retail Lab set to return in 2019

The Retail Lab @ Glee – in association with the HTA – was introduced in 2017 to showcase the latest trends within the garden industry, whilst also providing retailers with hands on advice and inspirational content that they can take back to their own stores to drive sales in the coming season.  The response to this new area surpassed expectations, with suppliers and retailers remarking on the immediate ‘take home’ value of the Lab’s content.


This year the Retail Lab will focus on two key themes ‘Shop’ and ‘Nature’, both of which will be supported by eight key themes entitled – Do it Yourself, Plant and Gift Shop, Garden Therapy, ‘Do Nothing’, Plastic Free Future?, Urban Green City, Outdoors = Indoors, Nurturing Nature, and Pet Alley – all of which represent key growth opportunities for garden retailers, whilst also addressing those issues that are shaping consumer spending habits.


Once again, the Retail Lab @ Glee – in association with the HTA – will be created in partnership with a panel of industry experts, led by Creative Director, Romeo Sommers of ByRomeo.


In addition to the amazing team behind the Retail Lab, the area will also be supported by a number of sponsors. Woodlodge, Scheurich, Key Essentials, Apta, Meadow View Stone, Verona, Laurica Plants, BPI Products, Ivyline, and Air So Pure are confirmed as 2019 Supplier Partners, providing them a wealth of opportunity to promote their brand and latest product innovations.



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 Evergreen Garden Care, Hozelock, Kaemingk, Handy Distribution, Gardman, Spear & Jackson, DLF Seeds, Westland Unwins, Taylors Bulbs, Neudorff, Smart Garden Products, Sipcam (ecofective), Bord Na Mona, Scheurich, De Ree UK, Mr Fothergills Seeds, Garland, Doff Portland, Harrod Horticulture, Rollins & Son, Divine Imports, Charles Bentley & Sons, Leisure Grow, Block Blitz, EP Barrus, Jardinopia, STV International, SBM Life Science, Vegepod, Vegtrug, Husqvarna UK, Prongcroft, Duston Garden Products, Blumen International, Agralan, Bergs Potter, Haws Watering Cans, Panacea, Tildenet, VegTrug, and Wildlife World.


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 2019 show include Kelkay, Woodlodge, Blakeway Stone, Deco-Pak, Meadow View Stone, Vitavia Garden Products Home & Garden UK, Fountasia International, Hutton Garden Products, Hamac Trading, Abitquackers, Albany Shed Co Ltd, Apta, Ascalon, Vivid Arts, Protek, Capi Europe, Treelocate, Vital Earth, Easigrass, English Garden Statuary, Ivyline, Melmar Stone, Primeur, Verona, Protek, and Think Outside.


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 Weber, Campingaz, Broil King, Kadai Firebowls (Wilstone House & Garden), Adobe, Besp-Oak Furniture, Kaemingk, Wolf Steel (UK), bio-bean, Charles Taylor Trading, Dizmesz, Keter UK, Coleman UK, Morsø, Muztag Fires Ltd, Riverco Trading, and CL Distribution.


The plant sector 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.  Exhibitors will include Laurica Plants, Javado, Florna Plants, Wonderwall, Infinity Christmas Trees, Strawson Woodland, H.S Hommes & Sons, Key Essentials, Leybaert BVBA, and The Christmas Cabin.


As always, Glee Plants will also be supported by Glee’s dedicated Green Heart, which places plants right at the entrance of the show to help inspire buyers the second they enter the exhibition.  Working in partnership with Woodlodge – the Green Heart’s official merchandising bench supplier – this year Green Heart will be supported by the ‘Best Green Heart Display’ award. Launched to critical acclaim in 2018, the award was scooped by Golden Grove Nursery, receiving praise from the judges for its stand’s ease of translation into a retail environment, the quality of product, and the eye-catching POS and display ideas incorporated.

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.


A new Home & Gift Village has been introduced for the 2019 event, providing home and gift suppliers with the opportunity to participate and exhibit as part of a larger group. Offering exclusive exhibition packages, exhibitors within the Home & Gift Village will be able to enjoy an enhanced shell stand exhibition space, a listing within the Glee website and the show’s dedicated preview and catalogue.


Key names to look out for at Glee Home, Gift and Clothing in 2019 will include Apac Group, Allsorted, Austin Sloan, Baltus, Bolla Bags, Cheeky Rascals, Chive, Earth Squared, Enigma, Fancy Metal Goods, First Person Ltd, Global 1st, Hellmann-Versand GmbH, Henderson (J & K) Enterprises Ltd, Hills Interiors, Julie Dodsworth, Luxa Flamelighting, Nääsgränsgården, Neat Ideas, Nova Leathers (Bristol) Ltd, Pantherella, Price’s Patent Candles, Red Cuckoo, Sincere, Sunlover, The Great British Card Company, The Healthy Back Bag Company, The Ready Made Picture Frame Company, Tilnar Art, Troop London (UK), Ultimate Products, and Wheelie Klips.


Pet suppliers looking to maximise the boom of pet product sales within garden centres will find their home within Glee’s dedicated Pets at Glee sector. Supported by the PetQuip Business Village and featuring exhibitors within the wider parts of the show, Pets at Glee will showcase the newest product innovation from a range of suppliers including Trixie, Butchers Pet Care, Danish Design Pet Products, Canine & Co., The Barking Bakery, Tigga Towers, Jacobi Jayne & Company, Marriage Specialist Foods, RSW International, Winners Europe, Bon EOOD, Global 1st Ltd, and H.von Gimborn, and Petface.

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 Glee’s Retail Services and Experiences and the dedicated Food & Catering sectors.


A new Taste Village will provide food and catering suppliers – particularly smaller brands, niche suppliers and start-ups – with the opportunity to participate and exhibit as part of a larger group.

Offering exclusive exhibition packages, exhibitors within the Taste Village will be able to enjoy an enhanced shell stand exhibition space, a listing within the Glee website and the show’s dedicated preview and catalogue. The close proximity of the Taste Village to the show’s leading feature, the Retail Lab, will also mean great footfall from a range of buyers and key decision makers from a wide range of independent and multiple garden centres.


The Taste Village has also been designed to complement the wider presence of Food and Catering brands at Glee 2019. Together these brands – including catering services, confectionary, kitchen equipment, kitchenware and café/restaurant design consultancy specialists – will give garden retailers an unrivalled opportunity to gather best practice examples, advice, contacts and products to help them initiate or improve their catering offering.


Offering the latest innovations, technologies and equipment for retailers – including EPoS, shop fitting and display stands, structures, software solutions, garden centre design, as well as catering expertise will be Pleydell Smithyman Ltd, Jacobs Douwe Egberts GB Ltd, Garden Connect, Stagecraft Display Ltd, Smiemans Projecten B.V., National Structures, Fordingbridge, Swan Retail, Easitill, Davidson-Richards Ltd, Creative Products, Vision Commercial Kitchens, Whitco, Morplan, Print 2 Media, Refreshment Systems Ltd, Salepoint Ltd, Smart Plant App, Swan Retail Ltd, Ustigate Ltd, Freshpac, Playscheme and Thermoflor B.V.



A packed awards programme including Glee New Product Showcase

With over three quarters of Glee’s audience coming to source new products, with many stating the importance of being able to touch and feel products previously only seen in catalogues, Glee 2019 will see even more focus on new products, including the New Product Showcase – created in partnership with Garden Trade News. This ever-popular competition sees new designs and products perfectly displayed for your consideration, with the best of each category receiving the accolade of a ‘Glee Award.’ Show visitors can also cast their vote for their favourite, awarding one lucky entrant with the title of ‘Retailers Choice Award’.

This year’s New Product Showcase categories will be Garden Plants, Seeds and Bulbs, Garden Growing Materials (Plant feeds, pest and weed control, growing media, cloches, seed trays etc), Garden Growing Containers (All pots, planters, hanging baskets etc), Garden Decoration (Garden ornaments, garden lighting, plant supports, wall art etc), Garden Tools & Machinery (Hand and powered garden tools, garden gloves, garden kneelers etc), Garden Landscaping (Paving, statuary, garden buildings etc), Garden Leisure & Entertaining (BBQ’s, garden furniture and accessories etc), Garden Wild Bird and Wildlife Products (Wild bird feeds, feeders, wild life products etc), Garden Home, Giftware and Clothing, Garden Retail & Industry Services, Best of British Award, Best Eco Initiative Product Award, and Best House Plants and Accessories.

Plants will also be celebrated through the ‘Best Green Heart Display’ award, in partnership with Woodlodge, whilst Garden Trade News’ annual Great Awards will be celebrating the ‘Greatest Awards Best Plant Retailing Team’.

The Great British Growing Awards come to Glee in 2019

Having hosted the ceremony to critical acclaim at Glee 2018, following a move from their previous home at the Edible Gardening Show, the Great British Growing Awards are set to return to Glee 2019. These awards recognise all that is great within the gardening industry – from tool companies, to seed suppliers, garden writers to fruit nurseries and everything in between, as well as garden volunteers and community growing spaces.


This year, the awards will be supported by a panel of industry stalwarts making up the judging panel, including Katie Lane (Lavender & Leeks), Rob Smith, Charles Dowding, Will Livingstone, and the GYO team.  In an exciting move, the winners of the 21 categories for the 2019 awards will not be announced until the exhibition itself, making it an even more thrilling prospect for nominees and the wider market.


In a repeat of 2018’s successful competition, GYO magazine will again be holding a special competition that will see 10 lucky readers win the chance to visit Glee to see tomorrow’s bestsellers, today. During the show these consumers will be hosted by GYO and given a guided tour of the halls, and features such as the Retail Lab and New Product Showcase.  They will also award their favourite product with a special ‘GYO Consumers Choice Award’, as well as receiving VIP access to the exhibition.


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), 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. This year they will focus on sharing their insight on the health and outlook of the industry and also how garden centres can engage with millennial and younger gardeners who will really drive the growth of the sector in years to come.


Glee Innovators Zone

Celebrating its 10th ‘birthday’ in 2019, the Glee Innovators Zone has already helped more than 275 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.


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 £6,000 grant 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.”


Buyers Power List

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 seven individual categories – Best single site independent garden centre, Best multiple site independent garden centre (five stores or less), Best garden centre group (six stores or more), Best DIY/Builders Merchant buyer/buying team, Best online retailer buyer/buying team, Best supermarket/department store buyer/buying team, and Best high street garden retailer buyer/buying team.


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 6, 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 2019 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from Tuesday 10th to Thursday 12th September and opens between 9.00am and 6:00pm (Tuesday & Wednesday) and 4:00pm (Thursday).  To find out the latest news and to register for free entry, please visit  For details on exhibiting at Glee, call +44 (0)203 3545 9752.


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Don’t forget – add the new Glee Connect app to maximise your time at Glee 2019

In 2019, Glee joins the digital revolution with the launch of its new exhibition smartphone app, designed to provide an unrivalled matchmaking solution to help suppliers and retailers to get the most out of their time at the show.

Visiting retailers will be able to better measure – and even increase – their ‘Return on Time’ spent at the show, through personalised exhibitor recommendations, and an easy to use meeting scheduling function. The Glee app will also include an overview of all of the exhibition’s wider educational content and seminar programmes, helping retailers to plan their trip around Glee all from the palm of their hand, or via the web platform if preferred.

Glee exhibitors can also optimise their time via the app, as it provides a powerful new way to generate more leads, and manage meetings with new, potential and existing customers. Popular exhibitor focussed features of the app include the ability to filter and refine visitor recommendations via Smart Recommendations, as well as Meeting Delegation which enables management of meetings across the sales force.  There’s also the Smart Meeting Link which makes it easy to invite existing clients to meetings, and an Inbound Leads section that highlights all the retailers that are interested in your company. The app is also fully integrated with Outlook, Google Calendar and Apple iCal, making it even easier for all parties to stay up-to-date on appointments.

The Glee Connect app will be available on Apple and Android from early July 2019.


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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, plus with an additional 25% discount on all Virgin Train advanced tickets (see for more info: it’s never been more cost effective to visit Glee.


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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About ITE Group plc

ITE Group plc was founded in 1991 and is now one of the world’s leading organisers of international exhibitions and conferences.

ITE Group’s strategic vision is to create the world’s leading portfolio of content-driven, must-attend events delivering an outstanding experience and ROI for our customers. The Group recently launched its Transformation & Growth (TAG) programme, which is designed to transform the Company from a geographic-led business to a product-led business that focuses on market-leading events, wherever they are in the world. ITE strives to run the best shows and offer the best service to its customers throughout the world regardless of location. By putting exhibitors and visitors at the heart of everything we do, we plan to drive sustainable growth for our shareholders.

ITE Group is a public limited company and has been listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange since 1998.