Australia’s retail industry infiltrated Melbourne to attend the nation’s largest industry-led trade event, Melbourne Gift Fair, hosted by the Australian Gift and Homewares Association (AGHA) from 5 to 9 August.

Thousands of retail buyers browsed through over 300 exhibitor stands hailing from small, medium and large wholesale businesses, as AGHA reunited the Australian retail industry.

Splosh Australia managing director, Laura Colman not only credits the event’s immediate networking and financial benefits for individual wholesalers, distributors, and retailers, but emphasises the role of the Fairs in the growth and vitality of the Australian retail sector. 

“The Melbourne Gift Fair serves as a hub for industry trends, insights, and knowledge exchange, helping wholesalers and retailers stay ahead of the curve and adapt to changing consumer demands,” she said.

“With the exposure gained at the AGHA Melbourne Gift Fair, we as wholesalers can positively impact the entire retail space within Australia, driving more opportunities and industry innovation and, most importantly, providing consumers with diverse and exciting products.”

The Fair also has a vital role in elevating small businesses by exposing up-and-coming wholesalers to national retailers and stockists. 

Made By Many Hands is a social enterprise that empowers migrant and refugee women entrepreneurs by providing the infrastructure to sell their locally made, carefully crafted products. This year, the Made By Many Hands stand represented 28 migrant and refugee entrepreneurs. 

“[The Fair] is great for small businesses by helping you create a catalogue, learn how to display your product and calculate wholesale prices. Going to Melbourne Gift Fair is an amazing opportunity to continue expanding business, and great to be introduced to more wholesalers in Melbourne and reach a bigger market,” Macarena, who owns Bonita Shop within the Made By Many Hands marketplace said.

As the Melbourne Gift Fair wraps up for another year, AGHA is already gearing up for the Sydney Gift Fair in February 2024. 

“Like many not-for-profits rebuilding following the pandemic years, we are still feeling lucky that we can bring our community together again to support the growth of the Australian retail industry. We’re so pleased to continue receiving positive feedback from both exhibitors and attendees, which reaffirms that our Fairs are making a tangible difference to the sector,” AGHA CEO, Linda Hickey said.