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Dual trade fair imm cologne / LivingKitchen 2013 set to be a big success

Frank Haubold, Vice President Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse. (photo: Koelnmesse)
Frank Haubold, Vice President Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse. (photo: Koelnmesse)

In several respects, Germany can be described as the country for furniture – as is also reflected in the development of the imm cologne. The event has returned to its former strength and has been reporting a steady increase in attendance figures since 2009. This is due on the one hand to a trade fair platform that has proved its worth and on the other to the stable economic situation and high demand for furnishings within the Federal Republic.

“For many years now, this trade fair has been an absolute must, even if there are a few weaker years behind us,” explains Frank Haubold, Vice President Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse. “In 2012, we were once again able to welcome a lot of first-time exhibitors to the imm cologne – young, up-and-coming companies who saw their presence at the trade fair as a way of gaining a stronger foothold in Germany and Europe. But it wasn’t only new providers who came to Cologne: a lot of firmly established manufacturers returned as well – precisely because the German furniture show enjoys such a good reputation and, in recent years, has been able to improve its standing even further.”

Translated into figures, this means an increase from 948 exhibiting companies in 2009 to no fewer than 1,159 this year. In addition, the number of visitors grew by 15% to approx. 115,000 in the same period.

A recently published analysis by the Association of the German Furniture Industry (Verband der Deutschen Möbelindustrie / VDM) indicates just how much potential the German market holds and what opportunities that potential represents for both the German furniture sector and the international furniture industry. In 2011, German citizens spent an average of 373 euros on furniture – 14 euros more than in 2009. Dirk-Uwe Klaas, Chief Executive of the VDM, believes that, last year, German consumers decided it was time to make up for what they had been doing without. In addition to the 373 euros they spent on furniture, says the VDM, Germans also invested a per capita average of approx. 150 euros in home textiles, accessories and décor.

According to the Federal Association of Kitchen, Furniture and Furnishing Retailers (Bundesverband des Deutschen Möbel-, Küchen- und Einrichtungsfachhandels, BVDM), total sales in 2011 – including specialist product ranges like home textiles and accessories and VAT – amounted to approx. 30.4 billion euros. This represents a 2.5 to 3% increase in consumer spending as compared to the previous year. And because Germans are anything but a throw-away society when it comes to furniture, high-quality brands are doing particularly well.

These are precisely the manufacturers who bank on the imm cologne: in 2012, all the relevant German furniture brands exhibited their products in Cologne, with foreign brand-name producers using the trade fair platform to ensure the year got off to a good start as well. A similar picture is already emerging for the next show: the preparations for the imm cologne 2013 are in full swing and virtually all of this year’s exhibitors have already confirmed their return. “Even though it’s only three months since the imm cologne 2012, we’re already focusing on the next edition of the trade fair. And it’s the same with our exhibitors: many of them have already started planning for next year. I am confident that, in January 2013, we will again be celebrating a veritable furniture festival here in Cologne,” says Haubold. “On top of that, LivingKitchen will be held parallel to the furniture show again in 2013, and the number of registrations we’ve received so far has already exceeded our targets. As a result it looks as if, for the first time in years, we’ll be completely booked out – right down to the furthest corner of every hall.”

The next trade fair duo
imm cologne // LivingKitchen will be held from
14th to 20th January 2013