This year's Autumn Fair saw a 28 per cent increase in attendance from big budget retailers, the organiser i2i Events Group has reported.
These included Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, John Lewis, Fenwicks, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Amazon, Tesco, Waitrose, M&S and Liberty.
Autumn Fair increased in size this year, delivering buyer numbers in line with expectations (31,011 - pending audit) from 78 countries.
A survey of 845 independent, multiple and online retailers during the event found that 86 per cent of UK retailers are either optimistic about or undaunted by Christmas trading prospects this year. In addition, 85 per cent see strong or steady company growth levels in 2013.
"We can definitely see this positive attitude feeding through to retailers' buying patterns at this year's Autumn Fair," said Louise Young, divisional director of Autumn Fair International 2012. "Suppliers are offering what is wanted with a greater emphasis on innovation and retailers are buying closer to the season so they can respond faster to customer demand.
"However, these findings certainly don't deny that retail is at the front line of the recession. Yet, if the industry is to recover to full health, we must stop scaremongering and embrace the real efforts retailers have made in recent years to buy cleverly and adapt their offer to today's consumers."
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