Smart Ready withdraws from FIT Show

Smart Ready and SAC Hardware have withdrawn from FIT 2021, saying that the situation is “too high risk from a commercial and a safe-guarding perspective”.

Smart Ready had promised to unveil “the greatest innovation the industry has ever seen”, while Sac Hardware was going to offer “genuine step change hardware solutions for the way windows and doors are fabricated and installed”.

Giovanni Laporta, MD of both businesses, said: “As one of the exhibition’s most staunch supporters, the decision to withdraw from September’s show was very difficult to say the least.

“However, hand on heart, I believe life at the moment is just too uncertain and September, less than two months away, is too high risk from a commercial and a safe-guarding perspective.”

FIT Show event director Nickie West said: “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.”

Giovanni said he believed a a third wave is on the way, which would come with further restrictions – a situation not helped by inconsistent government messages.

While the safeguarding of his team was a priority, he said there were other reasons for not exhibiting.

“As all of us know, there are massive supply chain issues,” Giovanni said. “Supply within our sector is at its most fragile and unstable standing that I’ve ever seen with mind-blowing price hikes increasingly becoming the norm … 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 prepared to do.”

He continued: “I have to ask myself, is 2021 the right time? I just don’t feel there is a mood for new products. It’s high risk. Most, if not all, businesses are writing off 2021, and looking towards 2022 for change, confidence and a sense of conviction. I am sure this getting back to a ‘new normal’ will happen with time, resilience, and even more intelligent science. However, for us, September 2021 is too early.”

In response, Nickie said: “As a show, we continue to navigate uncertain waters due to the ongoing and far-reaching impact of Covid. 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.”

Nickie said brands are still showing an interest in exhibiting, while pre-registration visitor figures are strong.

“As is the way of the world at the moment, FIT Show 2021 will undoubtedly look and feel different to our previous outings,” she said. “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.”