In total, 1,847 retailers visited the show – an increase of 8 per cent on the number who attended PATS Sandown in 2012 and 34 people more than September’s PATS Harrogate, the previous record-holder.
Sallie-Ann King from Natures Menu, one of the 160 companies exhibiting at the show, commented: “We have not stopped talking to people during both days of the show. It has been brilliant.
“It’s our first time at Sandown and I can’t believe the amount of visitors we’ve had on our stand. It has been a great opportunity to speak to so many people. RAW food is very current and is interesting to a lot of people. We secured lots of business, including signing up a new export partner in Germany.”
Ray Foard of Pet Rebellion added: “Eighty per cent of the visitors to our stand were new customers, which was great. We’ve seen a lot of garden centres, who are the main focus of our business. We’ve taken bigger orders today than ever before at PATS – two to three times bigger, in fact. It’s by far our busiest show ever.”
Karen Cooper and Dan Fuller from Bishop’s Stortford-based retailer Fin & Fur said of PATS: “It’s a fabulous show. It gives you an opportunity to speak to manufacturers and bounce off ideas. Every manufacturer is helpful, supportive and interested in your business. We find that this gives us renewed vigour and enthusiasm when we return to our own shop. We also take the opportunity to network with other retailers and share ideas. And the free bacon rolls are still a nice touch.”
Yvonne Hiscock of Pets Plus concluded: “PATS is improving every year and this year is no exception.”