Giovanni Laporta, MD of the Smart Ready and SAC Hardware brands, has today announced that he is withdrawing both operations from the FIT Show, citing Covid uncertainty as well as global supply issues as reasons for the move.
Amid extensive praise for the show as ‘one of its staunchest supporters’, he continued: “Less than two months away is too high risk from a commercial and a safe-guarding perspective. Albeit and understandably people are doing everything they can to ignore the obvious, there is a third wave on its way with whatever restrictions come with that third wave.
“As an MD, it’s the sensible and responsible decision for me to take.“
He continued, saying that supply within the sector is ‘at is most fragile and unstable standing … with mind-blowing price hikes increasingly becoming the norm’ and added: ”At the moment the appetite for new products just isn’t there, which for us, is what the FIT show is all about. Exhibiting in eight weeks’ time would essentially be gambling and playing roulette with my brands’ finances in this climate. This is not something I’m not prepared to do.”
He concluded: “In taking this decision, I’ve had to acknowledge that the industry has more pressing matters like the fragility of the supply chain and it just doesn’t sit right with me spending circa a quarter of a million pounds on what is essentially marketing and education, when some companies are struggling on the day to day operations.”
FIT Show event director, Nickie West replied: “We were obviously saddened by the news that Smart Ready has made the decision to withdraw from FIT Show 2021, especially at this late stage in the campaign. They have always, and continue to be, loyal supporters of our brand. We’re also huge supporters of Gio and the team, and look forward to welcoming them back to FIT Show in the future.
“As a show, we continue to navigate uncertain waters due to the ongoing and far reaching impact of Covid-19. We are incredibly grateful to the many brands who remain committed to creating a visit worthy exhibition for the sector, despite these challenges and unavoidable uncertainty.
“As organisers, we remain steadfast in our commitment to run a visit-worthy show, safely. We are monitoring all factors hourly. We, of course, have no way of predicting how the current Covid restrictions will evolve between now and our show at the end of September, including current border restrictions. But we are working closely with the NEC, our industry associations and officials to monitor and respond accordingly.
“We are still receiving enquiries from brands who want to exhibit. Our pre-registration visitor figures remain a strong indicator of the appetite for face to face connection, and for our much loved FIT Show.
“As is the way of the world at the moment, FIT Show 2021 will undoubtedly look and feel different to our previous outings. But we are still very much committed to delivering a safe and successful live experience for our community. We thank everyone who has continued to support us through the most challenging of circumstances. We will continue to communicate all developments via our own channels and our industry media.”