A collective of the most renowned and best-in-class suppliers of home and gift merchandise in Canada are working together to open permanent showrooms at the International Centre (6900 Airport Rd., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada) in what will collectively be known as SHOW T.O. It will soon be home to the first eight agencies and distributors opening permanent showrooms, with more than 40,000 square feet dedicated to servicing Canadian retailers, design professionals and media.
The group making this bold move includes Abbott, Auralim, Canadian Gift Concept, David Youngson & Associates, Edenborough, Group One Associates, North American Country Home, and Torre & Tagus.
“We’re excited to be part of a destination for buyers across the country – where they can visit year-round to connect with leading vendors, all in one convenient location.” – Jody Abbott.
Tom Taylor explains: “Auralim wants to give retailers access to new products every day of the year, and that requires a permanent showroom. We are going to be there when our reps and customers need us, on their own timetable – exciting times ahead for the gift industry.”
Breaking away from the constrictions and limitations of biannual gift shows, pop-up showrooms and roadshows, David Youngson explains, “Having a permanent showroom allows us to be more creative with merchandising and displays. It also allows us to showcase new brands and product releases added to our roster throughout the year.”
Each company is working with its own design firm to showcase its well-established brands. In addition, many of these inspiring showrooms will feature hospitality areas that invite customers to recharge. Independent retailers will appreciate the flexibility of shopping on days that best suit their busy schedule, with a much more relaxed and personalized approach. For retail buyers, this news represents a long-overdue pivot recognizing today’s buyers’ habits. No longer are retailers limited to two hurried buying trips per year.
For media and influencers, SHOW T.O. will be a destination for discovering new lines – from across Canada and around the world, spotting fresh trends, and borrowing samples for featuring on various platforms, including print and television.
A soft opening of SHOW T.O. is scheduled for July, with an official Opening Celebration to follow.