Global demand for furniture made in Germany is continuing to grow. The European market remains its main destination. But with growth of more than 25 per cent, China may soon catch up with the top destinations for German furniture exports.
On 22nd January 2012, the imm cologne and LivingInteriors drew to a close in Cologne with a very good result. For seven days, 1,157 companies from 54 countries showed the interior design trends of the coming year. Including estimates for the last day of the show, the trade fair duo lured 115,000 visitors to Cologne. “Cologne is the key business platform for the global furniture economy – as this trade fair has once again impressively demonstrated,” sums up Gerald BĂ¶se, CEO of Koelnmesse. “This year we were bang on course. We had more exhibitors, were more international – the Italian contingent was stronger than it had been for a long time – and visitors got to see lots of genuinely new products. All in all, a result like this means we are again playing at the very top of the furniture sector’s premier league,” continues BĂ¶se.
With his statement “This year’s furniture fair exceeded our expectations yet again,” Dirk Uwe Klaas, Chief Executive of the Association of the German Furniture Industry (Verband der Deutschen MĂ¶belindustrie), came to a similar conclusion. “With this kind of momentum, 2012 may well be a very good year for furniture- and as far as Germany is concerned, our furniture industry may well become the engine that drives consumption,” adds the Chief Executive.
A total of 115,000 visitors came to the metropolis on the Rhine – 14 percent more than at the last comparable event in 2010, even without LivingKitchen. With foreign visitors accounting for 42 percent (based on the trade visitor days), the imm cologne was once again a very international trade fair. Firstly, there were far more buyers from Europe, especially from the Russian Federation and Italy, and secondly, there was a slight increase in the number of visitors from North America and Asia. The Public Days were also very well attended. Around 40,000 consumers came to seek inspiration from the interior worlds on show. “We see this result as proof that our many and varied activities, aimed not only at national and international trade visitors but at consumers as well, have been successful,” says Katharina C. Hamma, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse. “The imm cologne 2012 has thus established itself as an order-writing and information platform,” continues the COO.
On 23rd January 2011, the imm cologne and LivingKitchen in Cologne drew to a close with an excellent result. Including estimates for the final day of the fair, the dual event drew around 138,000 visitors to Cologne – an increase of 38 percent. “What’s been happening here over the last few days is unbelievable. What trade fair can announce such marked double-digit visitor growth? That’s a great signal for the consumer goods trade fairs in Germany during the course of the year and convincing confirmation that trade fairs are a highly efficient marketing tool,” sums up the trade fair’s visibly satisfied commander-in-chief Gerald BĂ¶se. “We have all become part of a success story called imm cologne and LivingKitchen. Cologne is the absolute focal point of the furniture industry again, especially when it comes to the business side of things, as well as home to the international kitchen furniture industry,” adds the CEO of Koelnmesse. Dirk Uwe Klaas, Chief Executive of the Association of the German Furniture Industry (Verband der Deutschen MĂ¶belindustrie), came to a similar conclusion: “It was by far the best furniture fair we’ve had in the last 10 years: more visitors, more contracts signed and an excellent mood. An excellent start to the 2011 furniture year for our national furniture industry and a huge success for Koelnmesse.”
The unique combination of furnishing and kitchen worlds convinced both trade visitors and the general public. The excellent reception the event met with from visitors during the entire week of the fair ensured beaming faces on the manufacturers’ side. 138,000 professional buyers and consumers from 128 countries flocked to the exhibition halls of the imm cologne // LivingKitchen – 38 percent more than attended the previous event (imm cologne 2010). There were significant increases amongst trade visitors, not only from within Germany but above all from abroad, most notably from the Netherlands, France, Italy and Switzerland, as well as Eastern Europe in general and Russia in particular. In addition, more buyers were registered from important export markets like Asia, the Near East and North America. All in all, the trade fair drew increased numbers of visitors from almost all countries. “This result is convincing proof that the diverse activities and high level of commitment we put into attracting national and international visitors were successful and have definitely paid off,” says Gerald BĂ¶se.
From 18th to 23rd January 2011 – parallel to the imm cologne – the international kitchen trade fair LivingKitchenÂ® will be held in Cologne for the first time. The international kitchen show will be an independent event that takes place every two years in Halls 4.2 and 5.2 of Koelnmesse Exhibition Centre.
The show will have three Public Days and bring together national and international exhibitors from the entire kitchen industry. Even now, one year before the event, numerous leading companies have registered to take part. The complete list can be viewed at www.livingkitchen-cologne.com.
Gerald BĂ¶se, CEO of Koelnmesse, commented on this extremely pleasing booking status at a press conference in Cologne: “What makes us strong is our solidarity with the industry, the retail sector and the associations. The common ground between us isn’t just restricted to our goals, it extends to our approach for achieving those goals as well.”
The imm cologne ended on Sunday, 24th January 2010 with a positive closing balance. Despite being shortened by a day, the fair managed to equal the previous year’s result with around 100,000 visitors. The number of exhibitors even slightly exceeded last year’s level. From Koelnmesse’s perspective, the high expectations of the imm cologne as one of the most important fairs for the international furniture and interior design sector have thus been met.
“The exhibitors have used their innovativeness to brave the crisis and been rewarded by doing good business,” says Koelnmesse’s CEO Gerald BĂ¶se. “Cologne is the business forum for the industry,” concludes the head of the trade fair company. The positive mood that prevailed in the halls for the entire duration of the fair was also emphasised by Dirk-Uwe Klaas: “This was by far the most successful furniture show for years. In the midst of the crisis, trade visitors and end consumers alike have given us impressive confirmation that the imm cologne has regained its former strength,” says the chief executive of the Association of the German Furniture Industry (Verband der Deutschen MĂ¶belindustrie, VDM).Â As announced last Friday, Koelnmesse and the VDM as non-material sponsor of the imm cologne have extended their contract long-term to continue this successful collaboration beyond the scope of the imm cologne 2010.
The average German only replaces his sofa with a new one every 8-12 years. Donâ€™t you sometimes wish there was a scrapping incentive for furniture too?
We in the furniture industry arenâ€™t calling for subsidies â€“ we just want equal treatment for all sectors. Instead of getting people to scrap their cars, the politicians ought to be scrapping taxes for normal citizens and SMEs so theyâ€™ve got more money left in their pockets and budgets at the end of the month â€“ money they can use however they see fit.
The imm cologneâ€™s Trendboard is anticipating a return to more quality consciousness as a response to the economic crisis. Is â€śrealâ€ť quality actually still affordable these days?
Weâ€™re living in a time when people are refraining from quick consumption again so yes, you could say people have started to change their mentality. Theyâ€™re becoming more sensitive to how we use the worldâ€™s resources and looking for things that promise value and durability again. Thatâ€™s why thereâ€™s an increasing demand for sustainability and value in our industry too. For earlier generations it was normal not to follow every furniture or clothing fashion or go along with every new style that came out. Then there was a period of rapid and changing consumption. The pleasure was often short-lived and the products interchangeable.