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Oliver Bonas Buyer Tells It Like It Is At Top Drawer On Demand

If these were ‘normal times’, this Sunday would mark the opening of Top Drawer exhibition at Olympia, but never fear as Top Drawer On Demand is underway – a month long programme of talks, panel discussions, trends and product launches got underway on Monday (September 7) and will run until the start of October.

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Among the highlights so far was an insightful panel discussion entitled ‘Redefining Retail Trends – Five Ways To Adapt To The Changing Retail Landscape’ which saw Oliver Bonas’ head of home and gift design Molly ParkElena Todary (founder of The Collaborative Store) and Louise Daniel (founder of online platform, And so to Shop) share their views on how retailers can future proof their business.

“Covid-19 has accelerated forecasted lifestyle trends and patterns by 2-3 years,”believes Molly. “Two years ago I predicted that your home would be your office, your gym, your bar and your spa.”

She added: “As a business you’ve got to be flexible… in terms of product mix and content online. It has to be reflective of what people are feeling and going through. You have to create a community. Our local shops have been doing incredibly well and I’m so happy to see the rise of local shops again.” However, she also highlighted the importance of being omnichannel.  “What I’ve noticed is people go to local stores, have a browse and then go online to e-com websites. It shows the true meaning of having a showroom through e-com.”

Above: Oliver Bonas’ Molly Park (centre) shared her views as part of one of the panellist discussions.
Above: Oliver Bonas’ Molly Park (centre) shared her views as part of one of the panellist discussions.

This discussion, as well as many others, are hosted on the Top Drawer On Demand digital platform (www.topdrawer.co.uk) alongside 300 ‘virtual showrooms’ from greeting card, giftware and homewares companies. Among the greeting card brands represented include Caroline Gardner, Ohh Deer, Rosie Made A Thing, Susan O’Hanlon, 1973, 2 to Tango, Abrams & Chronicle, Alljoy Design, Archivist, James Ellis, Middlemouse, Paper Plane, Poet and Painter, Roger la Borde and The DM Collection.

Above: One of the products Caroline Gardner is sharing in its virtual showroom and on a video presentation is its new eco-pouched Christmas cards. The introduction of these bags (made from recycled bottles) are expected to see over 10,000 plastic bottles being recycled this Christmas.
Above: One of the products Caroline Gardner is sharing in its virtual showroom and on a video presentation is its new eco-pouched Christmas cards. The introduction of these bags (made from recycled bottles) are expected to see over 10,000 plastic bottles being recycled this Christmas.

As Top Drawer’s show director Alejandra Campos told PG Buzz a few days into the digital event: “It’s been very exciting to welcome everyone to Top Drawer On Demand this week; to see our community come together to discover and connect has been a wonderful reminder of just how incredible and passionate our retail industry is. As the new season approaches and customer confidence grows, our priority is to support our brands and buyers in the most meaningful ways, and with so much more to come over the month of September, this is just the beginning. We will of course miss the buzz of the physical show, but we hope that Top Drawer On Demand continues to inspire and drive businesses forwards, towards a successful, profitable future and lasting legacy, until we can meet in person again.”

Above: Top Drawer show director Alejandra Campos.
Above: Top Drawer show director Alejandra Campos.

Top Drawer On Demand highlights a trio of trends..

Staycation

With most international travel on hold, more and more customers are creating their own adventures – whether they be within their home country or simply at home. From indulgent treats and blanket forts to overnight essentials and the products that make moving about just that little bit easier, there’s no reason these staycations can’t still be done with optimum style.

Euphoria

A kaleidoscope of blue, purple, yellow and mint, combined with light-reflecting textures such as sequins and glitter, this look channels the 60’s and 70’s as much as it embodies a futuristic aesthetic.

Above: Some of the products highlighted to illustrate the Euphoria trend.
Above: Some of the products highlighted to illustrate the Euphoria trend.

At One With Nature

Replicating the colours, patterns and scents of the great outdoors in everything from artwork to serveware adds a dose of escapism and tranquility to even the most stimulating schedules or settings.

Above: Hopefully it won’t be too long before we are able to get back to real trade shows.
Above: Hopefully it won’t be too long before we are able to get back to real trade shows.

Top: Just some of the speakers involved in Top Drawer On Demand.

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