A return of events: Glee is back!

Events are back, with Glee leading the charge as the first dedicated garden retail exhibition to make its in-person return post-lockdown(14th – 16th September NEC Birmingham). This year’s show will bring together hundreds of brands and thousands of exciting products under one roof, providing garden buyers with the first opportunity in 18 months to ‘shop’ new ranges to boost their retail offering and build on the incredible momentum created throughout lockdown.

Reopening in line with government guidelines, Glee will provide a ‘Safe & Secure’ space where, under the banner of ‘refuelling retail’, the garden retail industry can come together to build business and network, as well as gathering inspiration for new product ranges, merchandising and point of sale, social media and branding. A visit to Glee can help fill the void created during the last 15 months where retailers were unable to focus on buying or source innovation and trend-led ranges.

Matthew Mein, Glee’s Event Director, said: “We move into the 2021 event with a sense of excitement regarding the future development of our sector following a period of significant growth. Despite the pressures that have been placed on many by the supply chain, gardening has won the hearts and minds of so many and, as such, we are moving into a new chapter supported by a newly expanded ‘gardening army’. From an engaged audience, the ongoing potential of the ‘millennial pound’, new tech hitting the market, and a wealth of existing ranges continuing to hit the mark, Glee 2021 will be a thriving hub for the garden retail market, offering unrivalled value for both suppliers and visitors.”

Glee – home to eight thriving product sectors

Exhibitors from across Glee’s eight product sectors are already busy planning their return to the exhibition. Whilst the pressures of the pandemic have forced suppliers to work differently, for many, new product development continued at pace. Reacting to consumer demand, suppliers are expected to bring to market products with a defined sustainability ethos, products that make life easier for gardeners, including high-tech innovations, plus latest design updates to core, volume-driven categories.

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, perfect for enticing the three-million strong new gardeners which took up the hobby during lockdown to keep flexing their green fingers.

Key exhibitors for Glee Garden Care include Evergreen Garden Care, Westland, Taylors Bulbs, Spear & Jackson, Mr Fother gills Seeds, Doff Portland, Fallen Fruits, Hozelock, Bathgate Silica, Agralan, DLF Seeds, Durston Garden Products, Equigrow, Sipcam Home & Garden, Sorbus International, Kaemingk, Handy Distribution, Garland, Fiskars, Husqvarna, De Ree, Graf, Hygeia Chemicals and Kapiteyn.

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 2021 show include Azpects Ltd, Gorse Lodge Ltd, Enigma Home and Garden, Active Products UK Ltd, Woodlodge, Zest 4 Leisure, Primeur, Ivyline, Treadstone Products, Protek, Meadow View Stone, Yorkshire Flowerpots, Terraflex, Onduline Building Products Ltd, Mercer Agencies, Jagram, Hamac Trading, EKJU, Easigrass, Capi Europe, Abitquakers, Biohort, Deroma, Rowlinson Garden Products and Vivid Arts.

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 the stratospheric rise in the popularity of these products over the last 18 months.  Showing everything from garden furniture, barbeques and parasols to chimeneas, conservatory and indoor furniture, play equipment and camping essentials will be Napoleon Grills, MORSØ, Kamado Joe, Broil King, Dizmezs Ltd, Pit Boss, Campingaz, Primus, CPL Distribution, Fusion Fire Bowls. O-Grill, Pearsons of Duns, Traeger Grills Europe, Premier Decorations, Tramontina, Grizzly Oven, Extreme Lounging and Black & Stainless Creative Metalworks.


Despite the pressures of the pandemic the popularity of gifts, homeware and outdoor clothing shows no sign of abating, helping to keep the tills ringing year-round as consumers look to optimise key gifting events as well as adding value to their homes and garden with stylish accessories. Post-lockdown, a shift towards UK-grown talent and production is coupled with an increased average spend as consumers look to treat themselves and loved ones more than ever following a year of enforced distance. As such, Glee’s popular Home, Gift & Clothing category is set to welcome a range of brands offering everything from outdoor clothing ranges and picnicware to seasonal decorations, games, toys and books, including Regatta & Craghoppers Limited,Teal International Ltd (The Satchville Gift Company), Leon Boots Co., Ecovibe Ltd, Little Plover, GRS Footwear, Kingsley Designs Ltd (Bootpac), Checker Leather, Casdon Toys, HJ Hall (Pantherella International Group Ltd), New English Teas, Korbond, Chive, The Strats Trading Company, Rouchette SAS, Evercreatures, Willsow Ltd, and Woodmansterne Publications (W Select). 

Glee Plants (Green Heart)is where buyers can shop for the best in nursery stock, bedding plants, trees and shrubs, as well as houseplants which has seen annual sales boom to over £4 billion as ‘urban jungles’ and ‘plant parents’ become the norm. Brand confirmed for the Glee Green Heart in 2021 include Javado, Jadecliff, Key Essentials, The Christmas Cabin, Infinity Christmas Trees, Laurica Plants, Floreac NV, and SP Trading.

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 Experiences &Services and the dedicated Food & Catering sectors.  Exhibitors confirmed for these two thriving and vital sectors include Swan Retail, Garden Connect, PleydellSmithyman, Fordingbridge, CSY Retail, Creative Products, Whitco Catering & Bakery Equipment, Malcolm Scott Consultants, Urban Farm it, Formbar, Open Retail, 3 Pugs Gin, The Secret Garden Distillery and Tri-Star Packaging.

Finally, Glee’s PAW (Pet & Animal Wellbeing) sector will offer access to leading brands covering product sectors such as grooming, pet food, pet accessories, wild animal wellbeing, bird feeders, pet toys and wildlife gardening. This dedicated section of the exhibition will be a true destination for retailers who want to tap into the potential of this £6.2 billion (Statista report June 2021)industry and create a truly unique and personal customer experience. Look out for brands including Goodchap’s, Marriage Specialist Foods, Christies Direct, Vetark Products Ltd, The Edible Gang Limited, Hownd, Sniffe&Likkit, Scott Paper, Weenect, Mimi’s Daughter, Kelso & Titch, Collarways Limited, Aqueos, Weenactand Jacobi Jayne & Company. 

Retailers wanting to nurture grass root businesses will be sure to make a stop by Glee’s Innovators Zone. Since its launch in 2009the Innovators Zone has already helped more than 275 companies break into the garden retail market.  This special area is designed tohelp nurture fledging 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.  


Glee New Product Showcase & Buyers Power List

Glee is a celebration of the best products and best practice on both the supply and retail side that our industry has to offer, and the forthcoming edition of the show will incorporate two major industry awards ceremonies which reflect this.

For suppliers, there is the GTN sponsored New Product Showcase, which celebrate the best new product innovations as well as tried and tested favourites which have stood the test of time. This year’s showcase will see shortlisted entries make their pitch to the judging panel on September 14th and 15th.

The best of garden retailing will also be celebrated at Glee with the prestigious Buyers Power List for 2021, to be held on Wednesday 15th September. The awards recognise the individual buyers and buying teams who have gone above and beyond to make a difference within the garden retail industry this year.

Glee’s seminar content – The Stage

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. 

Trade association support

As the central networking hub for the garden retail industry, Glee will once again play host to vital trade associations including GIMA, HTA, Gardenex and the GCA, all of which will all be welcoming existing and potential new members for the duration of the show, offering invaluable advice and expertise to those who need it.

GIMA will again run its popular speed-networking event, Buyers Connect, for the duration of the show. These effective and efficient business meetings are the perfect opportunity to make personal contacts with the most sought-after buyers and suppliers, without wasting any precious show time*. 


Entry to Glee is free of charge to all pre-registered visitors.  Simply register via the Glee website www.gleebirmingham.com/register.

Glee 2021 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from Tuesday 14th to Thursday 16thSeptember 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 www.gleebirmingham.com.  For details on exhibiting at Glee, call+44 (0)203 3545 9752.

The GIMA Buyers Connect service is open to all exhibitors, but due to high demand there are limited spaces available. To register your interest in meeting buyers as part of the UK Buyers Connect, contact GIMA directly on: info@gima.org.uk

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.

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.

Thanks to Press Release , Kimberley Hornby, Glee PR Team, Hornby Whitefoot PR