A celebration of newness Vicky Nuttall, Director of GIMA
ith Glee on the horizon and the annual GIMA Awards sneaking ever closer, we are entering a period where we ﬁnally get to celebrate the newness that has been so passionately created during the last 18 months, and I for one cannot wait. Despite being ﬂat out during lockdown, suppliers from across the sector have still been investing time into developing new products - a fact which continues to impress! Whether it is advancing existing ranges or developing entirely new concepts, we can rest assured that newness will take centre stage this autumn as 2022 orders are placed. Glee 2021 will be the ﬁrst place in two years that we’ll be able to see this hard work come together, and as always, GIMA will be supporting the event. We’re excited to bring back GIMA Buyer Connect as an in-person networking event where we’ll bring together suppliers with a range of retailers including garden centres,
DIY chains and e-commerce experts, as well as announcing the winner of this year’s GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund (GISCF). Since 2015 the GISCF, in partnership with Glee, has helped to bring to market a series of brands, many of which are now considered key players helping to drive growth and diversiﬁcation of the garden retail sector. This year will be no diﬀerent, with the winner scooping a £6,000 grant to help launch innovative, exciting, never before seen products to the gardening market. The winner is still yet to be decided, and with the closing date (August 20th) fast approaching we may not have yet seen the winning entry. If you know of any ﬂedgling brands that have invented something incredible and need expert support to break into the market, then please point them in the direction of the GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund. Being onsite at Glee will also provide us with an opportunity to introduce our latest members. In recent months we have seen an inﬂux in brands coming on board to access our many membership beneﬁts including representation, business advice and insight, industry-wide promotion, networking and making savings on events, services, exhibitions and market data. It’s great to see so many new companies joining us, including new start-ups and established brands, all of whom are helping to create the vibrancy that helped our industry thrive despite the immense challenge to business posed by the Covid pandemic and lockdowns. It won’t just be Glee where we’ll be celebrating newness, though the exhibition will provide a sneak peek at some of the entries to the 2021 GIMA Awards. Back after a two-year enforced hiatus, this year’s awards have already received a record number of entries; entries that gave this year’s judging panel a lot of food for thought. With 10 product, three marketing and a sustainability award to consider, the judging day was a hectic one, but decisions have been made and I believe we have one of the strongest winners’ rosters yet. Details of who has won won’t be revealed until the Gala Dinner on 11th November – places at which are now extremely limited. Any interested parties are urged to book their place now to avoid disappointment.
We can rest assured that newness will take centre stage this autumn…
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