With Christmas a distant memory for most, Retail Manager Ashley Collins is already planning the festive season for 2019 with visits to all the main Christmas trade shows.
He has already been to the Paris trade show and the toy fair in London and will be at the biggest one in the world, Christmas World in Frankfurt later on this month. The Birmingham Christmas trade show follows at the beginning of February.
At the shows Ashley looks for new stock for the Hever and Courtyard shops as well as any additions needed for the decorations in the Castle to fit in with the new 2019 theme.
He says: “Some of the stands have over £1m worth of decorations. There are 3,000 stands with 60,000 people from around the world. Most of the companies I use in Europe only supply three or four organisations in the area so it is pretty exclusive.”
When Ashley returns from the fairs he only has a few weeks to plan what he would like to order for Christmas 2019 as he needs to confirm his stock requirements by the end of February for arrival from the first week of September.