Textination Newsline

Reset
9 results
imm cologne 2020 © Koelnmesse GmbH / imm cologne / Thomas Klerx
21.01.2020

imm cologne 2020: Ready for better living

  • The industry kicks off the new year with a dynamic start

imm cologne drew to a close on 19 January 2020, with positive overall results. More than 128,000 visitors (including estimates for the last day of the trade fair) attended the event to find inspiration from the industry. Going against the trend for other industry trade fairs held early in the year, imm cologne achieved an increase in visitors compared to the most recent similar edition of the event (2018: 125,000 visitors).

  • The industry kicks off the new year with a dynamic start

imm cologne drew to a close on 19 January 2020, with positive overall results. More than 128,000 visitors (including estimates for the last day of the trade fair) attended the event to find inspiration from the industry. Going against the trend for other industry trade fairs held early in the year, imm cologne achieved an increase in visitors compared to the most recent similar edition of the event (2018: 125,000 visitors).

As in previous years, imm cologne also had a very strong international profile. Of the 82,000 trade visitors (2018: 80,704) around 50 per cent came from outside Germany. Despite the concentration visible in the German wholesale and retail trade, the event recorded a small rise in domestic trade visitors, again bucking the trend in recent years. “With these results, imm cologne not only underscores its prominent position in the global business; the increase in planners, architects and contract furnishers from Germany further emphasises its importance for the German market,” said Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse. The Managing Director of the Association of the German Furniture Industry, Jan Kurth, also gave the event a highly positive verdict: “For the exhibitors, imm cologne was a commercially successful trade fair that allowed the industry to make an excellent start to the 2020 furniture year. Cologne has once again demonstrated its significance as a platform for contacts and inspiration but also as an ordering fair. Together with all those involved, we will continue to strengthen the importance of this key event in a transforming market environment.”
 
The eight most important living trends of imm cologne 2020
How we live is important to us. An ever increasing number of people are considering how they can live and reside more sustainably, where they will live, with whom they will live, how their apartment should look so they can feel at home there and what the furnishings of their homes say about them. The international interiors show imm cologne is a mirror image of current interiors trends and demonstrates the inventiveness of furniture makers.

Interior design is currently becoming increasingly cosy, and the theme of comfort appears to be dominating not only private living space, but also property and hospitality areas. Following the bathroom, the entrance area is now also being discovered as an object of design. The wish for a good interior design appears to become all the more important, the more one wishes to or is forced to limit oneself to a few, high-quality furnishing elements. This is because, conscious limitation toa little is one of the trends characterising contemporary interior design.

Like in fashion, the pendulum seems to be moving from "more and more and cheaper and cheaper" toward a relative orientation to quality. In the process, there seem to be two stylistically and qualitatively differentiating main directions: while the interiors culture characterised by the design scene continues to prefer a reduced, simpler language of form with natural expression and materials, more glamour is called for in more traditional and in fashionable interiors worlds: it should be refined, be originally expressive and possess classic charm.

Yes, living is becoming more important. This is also an increasingly decisive factor for how life is organised, with concepts like co-working and co-living, the patchwork house or urban gardens. More thought is also being given to the things we bond ourselves with, and we tend to look twice before a decision is made in favour of a good piece. An orientation to quality does not necessarily exclude the search for bargains. While one person might research prices, the other researches the previous life of the item of furniture, including the origin of the materials, recycling capability and general harmlessness with regard to nature, climate and social standards. All agree that we want to live better: more comfortably, more stylishly, using space more effectively, more colourfully, smarter and more sustainably.

More natural living   
An ever increasing number of people are seriously attempting to change their consumer behaviour in order to initiate a trend turnaround toward a sustainable society. Consumer decisions with regard to mobility, mobile phone or nutrition, just as much as for furniture, are being increasingly evaluated under the aspect of climate neutrality. The story behind the product, the storytelling, is thus becoming more important all the time. This means that natural materials and solid wood are preferred in the home, not only for reasons of cosiness, but also with an eye to ecological considerations. Supporting decorative items, such as plants, untreated fabrics and indoor greenhouses are becoming important furnishing elements for home design and are also conceived of as statements. Furniture of high design quality also holds the promise of sustainability.

Wood and natural materials, but also lightweight design and recycling materials are being used everywhere where they are functional, meaning also for products that are usually manufactured from other materials. Bamboo is being tried out as an alternative to wood, just as much as plastic-reinforced paper as a leather-like upholstery fabric. Wickerwork of rattan, willow or bamboo brings a winter garden feeling into the house. The longing for natural living is keeping the trend toward Scandinavian design alive. It is after all associated with a near-natural, uncomplicated and original, rustic lifestyle, which is expressed in the traditionally simple design cultivated in the 20th century.

Greener living
We increasingly want to be close to nature: no new apartments are being built without balconies; apartments and houses with access to gardens or patios are in high demand, especially in urban areas. These touchpoints with nature are now also becoming an integral part of our homes, with patios taking on the role of a second living room. In the wake of the "Indoor – Outdoor" trend, weatherproof outdoor furniture now not only looks like it comes from the living room, it is also used there! Elegant materials and high-tech textiles also make it possible for them to be used indoors. An aesthetic difference is hardly recognisable in the upper price segment and, in the case of the new indoor/outdoor furniture, the comfort of use is also increasingly comparable. In the case of outdoor colours, the colour grey seems to have passed its zenith. White positioned itself as the base colour for outdoor furniture at the spoga-gafa trade fair in Cologne.

The furniture that suits this trend in some cases resembles that from the trend of more natural living: bamboo and wickerwork furniture is popular, but wicker armchairs of high-tech materials and more fashionable accents are also opportune. Plants are found as accessories not only in pots, but also on wallpaper. Green can be found in all shades.
 
Smarter Living  
Can we use an app to grow herbs? Can computers nurture plants to improve air quality? Does the climate have an impact on building services? Does a smart control system switch off the lights and the coffee machine when you leave the house? Smart applications are becoming ever more diverse, reliable and easy to use and can be tailored increasingly precisely to the specific needs of residents. As a result, smart technologies are increasingly playing a key role in architecture. Whether computer-controlled optimisation of indoor air quality, the innovative control and operation of shower toilets or the anticipatory and energy-optimised regulating of room temperature, smart technology is being increasingly integrated into the way we live.

Lamps that serve as Bluetooth loudspeakers; night tables with cordless mobile phone charging stations; cabinets that provide mood lighting; mirror cabinets with multimedia function, tables that adjust to our ideal amount of movement and sofas that note the individual favourite seating position; lights that help us fall asleep and beds that nudge us gently into another position when we snore. Technology is becoming an integral, ideally inconspicuous element of furniture.

More efficient living
Rising rents and smaller homes will continue to drive the demand for space-saving furniture. The first wave of the trend toward tidiness and renunciation aesthetics has already reached us from the USA and Asia. Renouncing consumption and restricting ourselves to the essential things in life are strategies for creating order in the home. And more and more people are finding this approach extremely beneficial. Order is trendy, so anything else is once again “uncool”. Quality over quantity could therefore be the perfect home furnishing philosophy for many people, especially as it is also consistent with the desire for natural living.
          
A trend for some time now has been small and compact sofas and armchairs with a design often oriented to classic typologies. Even more sought after in future will be affordable system furniture and compact individual items, which are scalable (adaptable to different room dimensions), variable (pull-out technology, etc.) and versatile. Life on a second level is also becoming trendy; the high sleeper is making a comeback. In view of the wide range of applications for such furniture systems, from the mini-apartment to the loft, suppliers are, however, attaching great importance to modern aesthetics in an urban living style that goes far beyond any teenager’s bedroom atmosphere.

Living more comfortably
We are worth it! Comfort is written in capital letters in every home (no matter how small), especially in the bedroom. However, investments are also being made in the bathroom and seating furniture. Comfort also involves several standards of building services; keywords here include the heated car seat, heated or cooled rooms. Compact, design-oriented seating, such as two-seater sofas or armchairs, is the trend in the upper product segment. Here, special attention is paid to ergonomics. Console table, wall rest tables or small shelves not only assure a sense of order in everyday life, but are instead an integral element of interior design.
          
And the favourite place for a comfortable hammock is found not only in the garden. It began with stools, and now bench seats, with and without backrests, have also been given soft upholstery to add a comfortable highlight to the kitchen and dining area. For sofas, the trend is toward a platform raised off the floor, which lifts the cushions to a higher level, as well as toward individualisation and adjustability. Integrated occasional tables are a theme.

Living without limits
The requirements of living are currently changing quite rapidly. More sophisticated singles apartments with a scarce offering of space and a lifestyle that also seeks freedom from conventions when it comes to furnishings are reinforcing the trend toward generously dimensioned one-room apartments with a loft feeling. These are complemented by one or two work rooms or bedrooms as needed. The flowing into one another of the rooms leads to a need for multifunctional furniture that marks living areas or delimits them from one another. Kitchen and living merge, the bathroom remains separate, if also, at least in the high price range, "en suite" and a little bit bigger. Instead of separate rooms, modern apartments present an open spatial structure, and compartmentalised apartments in old buildings are "aired out" through the removal of wall elements. Winter gardens and converted attics open up bright spaces, and generously dimensioned window fronts, ideally opening without thresholds, also optically expand the space outwards.

With the exception of built-in cabinets, single items of furniture are called for. Consistent collections and walls of cabinets in the living room encumber the feeling of freedom too much; mix & match is better suited. However, the single items of furniture must be combinable to this purpose. Finding the right balance in the design, autonomous, but not extroverted, pleasing but not boring, is the art of this furniture with classic qualities. Multifunctional furniture like tables that function convincingly as a workplace and dining area, freestanding sofas, cabinets that function as storage space and wall elements, room partitions that enable functions on both sides (like integrating the pivoting monitor that can be used from both sides), mobile furniture for indoors and outdoors; these are the heroes of living without limits.

Colourful living
Among the colour trends in interior design, brown is surely the one with the strongest impact, because it can be used both neutrally and in an avant garde fashion. On the whole, shades of brown are responsible for cosiness and are therefore currently very popular. While things are very harmonious in the range from greige through taupe to moor oak, the combination of, for example, nougat brown with other, mostly reserved colours (meaning not used in neon or pastel) ranging from orange to turquoise is also quite bold. However, whether with green, pink, purple or brown, colour brings glamour into the apartment. Dark wood shades, reminiscent of Art Deco or Danish modernity, with gold, brass or other metallic accents on sumptuous rugs stand for pure luxury. While the overall interior design trend is toward dark colours, from dark greens and blues to black, the minimalist interiors style remains loyal to the lighter and more natural shades. Avant-gardists pledge themselves to the Bauhaus tradition with primary colours colourfully combined with a white base colour. However, the interiors scene as a whole is becoming more colourful through the intensive use of colour schemes. Monochromaticity is also being increasingly abandoned in favour of patterns.

Decorative living
After clothing, living is today the number one means of expression. We are not only what we wear, but how we live. This makes every decorative element a statement. The basis for any eyecatcher is a space to make an impact. Tidy optics and decorative elements thus don't need to contradict one another. Lifestyle and the decorative are staged, on the wall elements, in the textiles, on the floor … or also behind (illuminated) glass. Each element and each item of furniture is simultaneously a decorative element. Which is why single products are preferred over homogeneous interior design with the furniture of a collection. Lights adjust to any furnishing style and are increasingly used as an optical highlight of the space. Designer lights are now what the folding table on rollers was in the 1970s.
     
Both mirrors and pictures are readily used as design elements: the classic here is the circular mirror in all versions; here the mirrors are often used graphically (thus pronouncedly two dimensionally) and bring depth to the room. As cement or Metro tiles, tiles transform from tepid floor coverings to the cool highlight at the kitchen bar, in special sections of the wall or in the entrance area. On the walls, it is wallpaper with small and large-format patterns that turn a room into a veritable work of art. On the floor, rugs with geometrical patterns, floral elements or graphic fancies provide accents, here too as a single product again. Oval shapes are especially pronounced, and, among furniture items, the sideboard is by far the most decorative: not only as a presentation surface, but also as a type.

(c) Koelnmesse GmbH
19.11.2019

IMM COLOGNE 2020: STILL INDOORS OR ALREADY OUTSIDE?

  • “Das Haus 2020” by MUT Design brings the Spanish outlook on life to imm cologne
  • Young design team MUT from Valencia to create “Das Haus” as guest of honour
  • The Spaniards’ design addresses the longing for an interior concept in which possibilities for retreat can be sustainably combined with outdoor living.

 “Das Haus” is erected at the international furniture and interiors fair imm cologne: a design that points the way ahead to how we might live in future. For seven days in January every year, it’s constructed from scratch, painted and lovingly furnished, visited by thousands, discussed and photographed. The simulated interior in Cologne – a combination of architecture, interior design and furnishings – gives a designer or design team the opportunity to make their own personal statement on contemporary living.

  • “Das Haus 2020” by MUT Design brings the Spanish outlook on life to imm cologne
  • Young design team MUT from Valencia to create “Das Haus” as guest of honour
  • The Spaniards’ design addresses the longing for an interior concept in which possibilities for retreat can be sustainably combined with outdoor living.

 “Das Haus” is erected at the international furniture and interiors fair imm cologne: a design that points the way ahead to how we might live in future. For seven days in January every year, it’s constructed from scratch, painted and lovingly furnished, visited by thousands, discussed and photographed. The simulated interior in Cologne – a combination of architecture, interior design and furnishings – gives a designer or design team the opportunity to make their own personal statement on contemporary living. In a wide-ranging variety of styles – from minimalist to extravagant, from matter-of-fact to sensuous – the installation blends current trends and products into a finely tuned interior design. Koelnmesse has nominated the young Spanish design team MUT to be its guest of honour for the ninth edition of “Das Haus” at imm cologne 2020 (13.-19.1.).

“A project like ‘Das Haus’ gives a designer a unique opportunity to create something that’s totally independent of production and market conditions while simultaneously understanding and rediscovering their designs in terms of how they impact the space,” says MUT, describing the challenge of designing a fully furnished house for the international furniture and interiors fair imm cologne.

“In our design, we want to go one step further and explore the potential architecture and interior design have for opening the space up to the outdoors.” As a result, the architectural dimension of “Das Haus” is particularly significant this time round. “Mediterranean life is synonymous with outdoor living,” says MUT of the inspiration the team draws from its traditional lifestyle culture. “Our houses have always integrated a little bit of nature into their interiors.”

Founded in 2010 by Alberto Sánchez and Eduardo Villalón, the design studio is one of the most successful teams of the “new wave” in Spanish design. In their native Valencia, a hotspot of Spanish design that’s bolstered by the traditional furnituremaking and ceramics industries round about, the team creates furniture, carpets, tiles and lamps for the interiors sector, as well as designing hotels and exhibitions. All their work is characterised by a tendency towards simple, soft, circular shapes. Their creations – which have won major accolades such as the Red Dot award – exhibit forms with a vaguely unfamiliar quality or translate a familiar shape into a modern design. Their international clientele includes firms such as Expormim, GAN, Ex.t, Sancal, Preciosa Lighting, Bolia, E interiors, Harmony Inspire, Missana and LZF.

The name MUT comes from Valencian (a variant of Catalan) and translates roughly as “Quiet!” – a request for silence when you want to make yourself heard. But the designers can also identify with the German meaning of “Mut”, i.e. courage: “It rounds off the way we see ourselves perfectly, because nowadays it takes a lot of courage to stand up for your own principles instead of going with the flow dictated by trends,” says the Spanish team. And it’s definitely true to say that emotionality and an expressive design language are the most outstanding characteristics of their work.

With MUT, “Das Haus” is deliberately remaining within the sphere of European design this time round, while simultaneously selecting a decidedly progressive team with a contemporary profile. “MUT isn’t so much a classic design team as the kind of multidisciplinary community of like-minded people that exists in all sorts of constellations nowadays: modern, flexible and creative. They work in a surprisingly diverse range of fields: they’re product designers, creative directors, graphic designers, interior designers and curators, all rolled into one,” says Dick Spierenburg, creative director of the imm cologne, on the decision to nominate MUT. “As a result, they stand for a new generation of design studios that’s responding to a changed market landscape in which huge demands are made of designers’ adaptability and inventiveness.”
 
“Das Haus” – half portrait of the designer, half model home
The “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” installation simulates a residential house at the international furniture and interiors fair imm cologne. The fair constructs an approximately 180-square-metre house in the middle of the Pure Editions area, Hall 3.1, designed according to the plans of a designer who is newly nominated every year. The furniture, colours, materials, lighting and accessories are also selected by the designer, rendering the finished house an individual, integrated configuration of interior design. The project thereby deals not just with contemporary furnishing trends but also with people’s aspirations as well as social change.
          
“Das Haus” from 2012 to 2019 – eight ideas of home
“Das Haus” was staged for the first time in 2012 and the Indian-British design team of Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien was nominated to introduce the new format. They installed a seemingly organically grown space that allowed inhabitants and cultures to interact in a spirit of communication. In 2013, the Italian product designer Luca Nichetto introduced the next installation of the design event with an elegant ensemble, the construction open on all sides. In 2014, the Danish designer Louise Campbell turned “Das Haus” into a low-tech place of calm within the bustle of the fair, representing the reconciliation of the most diverse human characters and preferences in style. In 2015, the Chinese architect couple Rossana Hu and Lyndon Neri challenged traditional home life rituals by taking “cages for living” packed full with classic and modern furniture and setting them in a spatial construction that recalled the narrow alleyways of Shanghai, turning visitor into voyeur and calling for reflection. German designer Sebastian Herkner was on home turf in 2016. With his circular “Haus”, he created a house that was airy and fully accessible – with no barriers to people or cultures – and limited only by adjustable curtains in order to permit changing perspectives. The transatlantic “Haus” by Todd Bracher that trade fair visitors could experience in Cologne in 2017 drew its inspiration from paring down to the essentials. While the Czech designer Lucie Koldova transformed “Das Haus 2018” into an experiment about the emotional dimension of various lighting compositions, Rotterdam-based Studio Truly Truly turned its idea of mood-driven, “fluid” living into reality with a design consisting of organically interlinked zones.

Source:

Koelnmesse GmbH
Design Press Talk imm cologne 2020 in Valencia on 18 September 2019/ Studio

 

European press conference on 6 September 2018 in Madrid for imm cologne/LivingKitchen 2019 © Koelnmesse GmbH
02.10.2018

FURNITURE INDUSTRY GREW ONLY MARGINALLY BY 1% IN THE FIRST HALF-YEAR

  • Almost 1 in 3 pieces of furniture is exported
  • 14% of furniture sales now online

At the European press conference in September 2018 in Madrid for imm co-logne/LivingKitchen 2019, Jan Kurth, Chief Executive of the Association of the German Furniture Industry (VDM), reported on the state of business in the sector:

  • Almost 1 in 3 pieces of furniture is exported
  • 14% of furniture sales now online

At the European press conference in September 2018 in Madrid for imm co-logne/LivingKitchen 2019, Jan Kurth, Chief Executive of the Association of the German Furniture Industry (VDM), reported on the state of business in the sector:

At the end of an exceptionally hot summer, which has driven consumers to outdoor pools and beer gardens rather than furniture showrooms, the German furniture industry looks back on correspondingly subdued growth in the sector. Following a decline in sales in the second half of 2017, the business climate for manufacturers did improve slightly in the first half of 2018, but the bottom line is that furniture sales have stalled, especially within Germany. While the year began distinctly positively on the back of imm cologne, a significant slowdown in business subsequently set in.
From January to June, sales in the sector reached approximately Euro 9.1 billion, just 1 per cent higher than in the same period of the previous year. Following a 0.7 per cent fall in sales for 2017 as a whole, marked in particular by a negative trend in the second half-year (–1.6%), German furniture manufacturers were thus able to generate slight sales growth, but the situation remains disappointing.

Growth stimulus comes from abroad
This marginal increase in sales was exclusively attributable to international business, since sales outside Germany grew in the first six months by 2.7 per cent in comparison with the same period of the previous year. Domestic sales, on the other hand, stagnated with a minimal rise of 0.3 per cent. Export business benefitted from revived demand in key European sales markets and, increasingly, from the positive economic development in the major growth regions outside the EU. Almost one third of German furniture exports are now sold to non-EU countries.

Results of the latest VDM survey
In summer 2018, the VDM conducted a survey of the economic situation faced by companies in the sector. Participants rated the current business climate as satisfactory (34%) to poor (40%), with only 26 per cent judging it to be good. Compared with summer 2017, the situation for business had worsened in the view of 51 per cent of those surveyed.

State of export business better than domestic market
The disparity between the domestic market and export business is also reflected in the business survey. While most respondents (57%) judged the situation for domestic business as poor, an overwhelming number of manufacturers considered the situation for export business to be good (29%) to satisfactory (56%).

The current difficulties in domestic demand are largely confirmed by the furniture retail sector. Naturally, the long period of high temperatures moved many activities outdoors, but still this explanation falls short. To discover a little more about this, the VDM commissioned a representative study from the prestigious market research institute Kantar TNS, which put the furniture buying behaviour of Germans under the microscope. We were particularly interested to learn where people seek information about furniture and where they buy it. Do they look at advertising supplements in daily newspapers or rather retailers’ websites? Are people increasingly buying furniture online, or is the official sales channel statistic correct, which has been citing an almost stable figure of between 7 and 8 per cent for several years?

Customers increasingly seek information online
First, a look at the information sources. Overall, the furniture store itself – that is to say, looking at furniture in person – remains the most important source of information (68%), followed by brochures from furniture showrooms (54%). But 48 per cent of all those surveyed now use the Internet as a source of information and inspiration. In the younger target groups (<40 years old), the significance of the information source sees a clear shift, with the Internet dominating (77%) but furniture stores still being used by 63 per cent.

When it comes to formal educational attainment, there is a clear correlation with the information sources used. Those with a lower level of education favour brochures and advertising from furniture stores. The higher the level of education, the more buyers actively seek information online.

80% have bought large furniture items in the past 5 years
Online shopping or a trip to the shops? Generally speaking, over 80 per cent of Germans have bought relatively large items of furniture in the past five years. As can be expected, this proportion tails off with increasing age. Of those who bought furniture, 75 per cent carried out this latest transaction in a furniture store. Just under 10 per cent of shoppers bought from a purely online retailer and only 4 per cent purchased via the website of a furniture retailer. This gives a 14 per cent share of sales now taking place online and thus double the figure given out by the official sales channel statistics. In terms of online shoppers, people living alone and the under-30s lead by a clear margin. As young people get older, they are unlikely to move away from online shopping for furniture, and new “Internet savvy” consumers enter the market, the “normality threshold” for the remaining age groups is also expected to fall. There is therefore clearly still a great deal of potential for online furniture sales, and the industry and trade would be well advised to exploit this potential through engaging concepts and information suited to the target groups, moving away from discount and clearance promotions.

Additional online potential
We also see the growth of online business as offering opportunities for the furniture sector as a whole. Firstly, the fixation on prices and discounts is not as pronounced online as in highly concentrated bricks-and-mortar retail. Secondly, the short delivery times and short-notice availability typical of online trading tend to be served more flexibly from internal German sources than from Asia.

Official assessment: sales in the individual segments
According to official statistics, the individual segments in the German furniture industry developed unevenly between January and June 2018. Kitchen furniture manufacturers recorded sales growth of 4 per cent to around Euro 2.5 billion. The office furniture industry reported a distinctly positive result with sales of around Euro 1.1 billion (+7.9%). Manufacturers of shop and contract furniture saw a year-on-year increase of 7.2 per cent and generated sales of around Euro 920 million.

Manufacturers of upholstered furniture registered a noticeable decline, with sales falling by 5.3 per cent to around Euro 480 million from January to June 2018. With a drop of 1.6 per cent to Euro 3.7 billion, the sales performance in household furniture, other furniture and furniture parts was also more negative than the industry average. The smallest segment in the industry – mattresses – recorded the most significant decline in sales of 12.8 per cent to Euro 400 million. This must, however, be put in the context of the above-average growth in sales in this segment in recent years.

Furniture industry generates new jobs
We now take a look at the employment figures for the industry. The 482 businesses currently operating with more than 50 staff (–2.2%) employ 84,300 men and women, which is slightly above (+0.7%) the previous year’s level. Approximately 600 new jobs have been created in the industry in the last year, despite the difficult market conditions.

Compared with the same period of the previous year, German furniture exports in the first half of 2018 grew by 2.2 per cent to Euro 5.5 billion. With an increase of 1.2 per cent, sales to EU countries only crept slightly above the previous year’s level, thus developing much more sluggishly than exports as a whole. Having said this, exports to the German furniture industry’s largest external market, France, achieved growth of 3.5 per cent, and the Dutch (+6.2%), Polish (+10%) and Spanish (+6.1%) markets also saw positive developments from the perspective of the German furniture industry. However, furniture exports to the important sales markets of Austria (–1.3%) and Switzerland (–3.8%) declined.

Negative trend in Great Britain
The furniture industry also clearly felt the negative effects of the Brexit negotiations and the fall in the pound over the course of the previous year, with furniture exports to Great Britain contracting by 8.9 per cent in the first half of 2018. No other major export market performed as badly as the United Kingdom from the perspective of German furniture manufacturers.

Boom in exports to the USA, China and Russia
The key growth markets for German furniture now lie outside the EU. The outstanding performance of German furniture manufacturers in the largest growth markets of the USA (+9.5%), China (+25.9%) and Russia (+14%) is particularly noteworthy. Given the size of each of these markets and the strong demand for high-quality furniture, these figures are sure to see further growth. Other markets outside Europe, such as Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, are currently developing well, although exports to these countries are still at a relatively low level. Overall, the non-EU market is expected to become an important driver for growth for the German furniture industry in the years ahead.

Export ratio up by 32.6%
The industry’s export ratio – that is to say, the proportion of goods shipped directly abroad by domestic furniture manufacturers against total sales by the industry – climbed to 32.6 per cent in the first half of 2018, thereby achieving a new record. The corresponding figure for the first half of 2017 reached 32.1 per cent. This means that the furniture industry’s export ratio has doubled since the turn of the millennium.

Furniture “made in Germany” highly regarded
The success of German furniture manufacturers abroad can be put down to the quality, reliability of supply, design and individuality of our products. German manufacturers often have a better grip on processes and logistics than their international competitors. These are important selling points for consumers – whether they be in Shanghai, St Petersburg or San Francisco.

Greater support for exporters
In view of the increasing importance of exports for the industry, the VDM will be expanding the support it offers exporting companies. A new VDM Export working group aims to encourage dialogue between individual manufacturers, identify the main markets and coordinate export and trade fair activities for the industry as a whole. Information days and workshops for furniture manufacturers will be organised to share industry-specific expertise relating to the individual export markets. Practical tools will also be made available to support the successful involvement of German furniture manufacturers abroad. These additional export activities are intended to help German furniture manufacturers to grow their market share on the world market.

Slight increase in imports
Import competition remains strong: after German furniture imports achieved growth of 0.8 per cent to Euro 12.7 billion for 2017 as a whole, in the first half of 2018 they rose by a further 0.6 per cent to Euro 6.6 billion. However, the trade deficit reduced by 8.1 per cent to around Euro 1.2 billion in the same period as a result of substantially increased exports. Overall, furniture imports to Germany from eastern Europe are increasingly gaining ground from their Asian competitors. Poland enjoyed growth of 7.4 per cent and, as has been the case for a number of years, remained by far the largest source country in terms of furniture volume. Nowadays, more than one in four pieces of furniture (26.3%) imported into Germany originates from our neighbour to the east. The Czech Republic remains the third-largest source of imports with a slight rise of 0.7 per cent. Altogether, imports from EU countries achieved a significant increase of 1.8 per cent. By contrast, imports from Asia fell disproportionately (–5.9%), especially from Vietnam (–12.3%), Taiwan (–13.9%) and Indonesia (–9.8%). Imports from the second-largest originating country, China, declined significantly with a drop of 5.2 per cent. The structure of German furniture imports is highly concentrated, with around 56 per cent of all German furniture imports now attributable solely to the three largest supplier countries: Poland, China and the Czech Republic.

56% of all imports from Poland, China and the Czech Republic
Almost two thirds of participants in the VDM survey expect the business outlook to remain the same in the six months ahead. 24 per cent anticipate an improvement in the situation and just 12 per cent a worsening. According to the assessment of the respondents, the major factors affecting the trading climate in the next six months will be increasing prices of raw materials (33% of respondents), a shortage of skilled personnel (27%), growing pressure from imports (18%) and increasingly protectionist trade policies (9%).

Rising material costs hit the industry hard
The rising cost of materials as regards solid wood are seen as a particular obstacle for development in the sector. Companies in the German furniture industry taking part in the survey report an average increase of 9 per cent in the cost of solid wood when compared with summer 2017. Prices of wood-based materials increased by 5 per cent in the same period, with logistics costs also up by 5 per cent and staffing costs by 3 per cent. Given the market power of purchasing associations, it is not possible to pass on this rise in costs in full to the German furniture retail trade.

Forecast for the current year: +1%
While the contribution of foreign markets to German furniture industry sales is expected to remain positive in the second half-year, in view of the very significant growth in recent times, there are clouds on the horizon as far as domestic trade is concerned. Consumer confidence in Germany is also on the wane. Economic forecasts for this year have recently been revised downwards by leading economists. On this basis, we continue to anticipate sales growth at the end of the year by around 1 per cent in 2018.

 

More information:
imm cologne Furniture market
Source:

Jan Kurth, Chief Executive of the Association of the German Furniture Industry (VDM), at the European press conference on 6 September 2018 in Madrid for imm cologne/LivingKitchen 2019

imm cologne 2018 (c) far.design; Koelnmesse
16.01.2018

IMM COLOGNE 2018: MEGATRENDS AND THE WAY WE LIVE

Megatrends are becoming increasingly visible in the way we live.
Be it globalisation, urbanisation, digitalisation, individualisation or neo-ecology: German and international manufacturers are keeping pace with the times and are offering more and more options in their range of furniture and fittings. Customer needs can no longer be deduced from socio-demographic characteristics and target groups alone - people's lifestyles are too different for that these days. The megatrends influence the directions in which the additional options develop: They drive things forward and point out new directions at the same time.

The megatrend of individualisation has intensified in the furniture sector on at least two levels: The catalogues are bursting with diverse options and the internet is the first port of call to get an idea of what's on offer. Several portals offer tailored advice or allow you to furnish your own home in a virtual reality setting.

Megatrends are becoming increasingly visible in the way we live.
Be it globalisation, urbanisation, digitalisation, individualisation or neo-ecology: German and international manufacturers are keeping pace with the times and are offering more and more options in their range of furniture and fittings. Customer needs can no longer be deduced from socio-demographic characteristics and target groups alone - people's lifestyles are too different for that these days. The megatrends influence the directions in which the additional options develop: They drive things forward and point out new directions at the same time.

The megatrend of individualisation has intensified in the furniture sector on at least two levels: The catalogues are bursting with diverse options and the internet is the first port of call to get an idea of what's on offer. Several portals offer tailored advice or allow you to furnish your own home in a virtual reality setting.

The megatrend of digitalisation has also impacted on the way we live in two very clear ways. When it comes to the products themselves, the "smart home" is becoming increasingly important. Many household appliances, doors and windows, white goods and heating control systems now come with applications that improve comfort and convenience in everyday life. The second element has far-reaching effects on our mood. The honest ones among us will admit their overexposure to various media. Within a minute of waking, most people have their smartphone in hand as they start their day. The sensory overload immediately begins, if not with a smartphone then with the television or radio triggering constant distraction and a desire for a multitude of things. We lose ourselves in the face of so many options (the weather, the stock market, breaking news, emails, recipes, music). When the back of your mind wakes up too - and with that a torrent of terms such as digital transformation, chatbots, bitcoins, blockchain, dash buttons begins to flow - you suddenly feel an urgent need to get a grip on reality. Old favourites are making a come-back. Vinyl records, classic cars and filter coffee are all enjoying a boom. In home furnishing, models from the "good old days" are hugely popular: the vintage look, retro, boho-chic, mid-century design. In our fast-paced age, it comes as no surprise that many people in the developed world have fallen in love with this style of furnishing. In the virtual world, we are looking for something real, or at least something purportedly real … and Pantone declares ultra violet the Colour of the Year 2018. It is an old acquaintance: clerical power, feminism, extravagance, drama, creativity, "the last attempt", mystical and spiritual, both future-oriented and traditional, but a counterculture most certainly. Denmark has given the world the "Hygge" phenomenon, a countervailing measure that brings cosiness back into our homes.

Two-thirds of Germans want their home to exude cosiness. Most people find that easier to achieve with an organic design language, authentic materials and warm colours than with cool, angular and minimalist furniture designs. Colourful combinations of furniture, wall colours, wallpaper, decorations and accessories are also popular because they help express the desired feeling of individuality.
 
Good lighting is becoming ever more important for the overall atmosphere in the home. LED lighting technology is now cost-effective, and can be found in the glass display case, behind the shelf or under the bed, making an important contribution to the home's cosy lighting ambience. The lighting industry's latest highlight is improved LED light batteries with long run-times. These flexible, portable and cable-free light sources are very handy for small apartments. This kind of small lamp can be used as a functional light in the kitchen, as a reading lamp at the table and as indirect illumination when chatting in the evening. In former times, candles were carried around the home, today we carry cutting-edge LED battery lamps. Talking about candles, the consumption of real candles has been growing steadily over the last five years. According to the European Candle Association (eca), each EU citizen consumed an average of 1.45 kg of candles (+6.2%) in 2016, with further growth expected. Opulent, Baroque-like candlesticks are in fashion, and help to create cosy living spaces. Candlelight is highly prized. Indeed, we could speak in terms of a digitalisation by candlelight. There is a close link between living style and the longed-for attitude to life. In times like these, it is not surprising that more and more people divide their world in two. On the one hand, they have a "private shire", as Stephan Grünewald from the Rheingold Institute calls it, in which they feel snug and safe. Then they have an external "grey country", an often frightening world of terror, globalisation, food scandals, Brexit and capricious political leaders. The private sphere is often designed as an idyllic retreat to make it easier to filter out the external world. This idyll is the counter-world to the hard and digital reality. It's all about nest-building, comfort, security and cosiness - a means of escaping the often-overwhelming anonymity of the external world.
 
Before the backdrop of globalisation, the home becomes the central location of identity. Furnishing their homes in a personal way gives people a sense of belonging. Identity is a matter of self-creation, not only in terms of the personality but also of the private environment. We form our identity on a day-to-day basis through the way we live. Many people perceive the world as an excess, and they see their own home as an identity-forming protected zone. The home is guarded, fashioned and loved. Security technology and creativity are spreading and the home is becoming the only enclave of informality. Following the maxim "The world is too much for me, I'm enough for myself", the home is a retreat, a refuge and an idyllic world.
 
In the modern age, populations tend to move from rural areas to the cities. For the first time in history, more than half the world's population now live in urban conglomerations. Major cities face two challenges that have long been identified: The constant need to find more living space, and managing the growing volume of traffic. When it comes to the way we live, the megatrend of urbanisation becomes more concrete in a number of respects. There is already a growing longing for ruralisation among city dwellers, while - paradoxically - new digital innovations are making possible new ways of working and living, far away from the smoke and smog of the city. It is already possible to work without a fixed base in a number of occupations. In future, the toilet lid in the smart home will regularly test the urine for signs of disease, taking care of prevention and making medical care plannable. Villages could experience a renaissance when drones deliver shopping, and electric driverless cars take children to school.

In the season ahead we will see the introduction of more organic forms, especially in the seating furniture sector. Organic design takes its cue from organic nature. Dynamic curves and powerful cambers come to the fore as striking characteristics. Organic design is soft and is therefore distinct from geometric and functional shapes. A wide range of natural fibres is on offer as upholstery fabrics for padded furniture, with corduroy and velvet playing a prominent role.   

The blue colour spectrum - from European blue and light blue to turquoise and petrol - remains popular. Blue represents harmony, imparts a sense of reliability, and has a pleasant calming effect. Olive green is the new trend colour, representing naturalness, spring, hope, health, youth, nature and vegetation. However, olive is not gaudy; the grey aspect in it makes it a quiet and inconspicuous choice.

Linoleum is making a come-back. The material was invented in 1860 and consists mainly of linseed oil, ground cork dust and jute fabric. It was originally intended for use as an elastic floor covering and it is still used in that way to this day. The furniture industry utilises linoleum as a tabletop surface, sideboard front and bureau inlay. It is a robust, green material that stands for healthy living.

Solid wood is about to strengthen its position further. The designs for tables, cupboards and sideboards are delicate and elegant, having moved away from the rustic look of the past. Oak remains the top seller, but walnut and cherry wood are maintaining their position. Wood combined with other natural materials such as glass and metal is also a popular choice for the visible parts of cabinets.

The visual quality of furniture in all price categories is generally improving. In future, furniture that looks cheap in whatever way will not sell well. With the smart home, the bathroom show and the lighting show - in addition to all the other furniture and fittings exhibited at imm cologne 2018 - we will experience an explosion of innovation and inspiration. By passionately opening oneself up to something, that thing is freed from the vortex of the ordinary and everyday. That is just as true for good food as it is for good furniture at imm cologne. Only those who dare to do so can discover the new.

More information:
imm cologne Megatrend
Source:

Ursula Geismann, Press Officer and Trend Analyst, German Furniture Industry Association, VDM

10.10.2017

IMM COLOGNE 2018: THE BATHROOM IS COMING TO COLOGNE

  • imm cologne is being enriched with interiors ideas revolving around the bathroom
  • Many sanitation providers will present themselves to design decision makers in the Pure Architects Segment
  • Pure Architects offers attractive synergies for the bathroom with the trend theme of life
 
From 15 to 21 January 2018, the new trade fair format Pure Architects will start at imm cologne, with the strong participation of leading sanitation brands. Relaxing wellness hours or fitness cult, country house style or urban chic, parquet or tiles in wood look, hanging lamps over the real wood washstand, decorative sheepskin or trendy cement tiles: the bathroom is being increasingly perceived and used as living space. Koelnmesse also sees the increasing demands of clients for their new bathrooms reflected in the increasing number of individual exhibitors from the bathroom product segment.
  • imm cologne is being enriched with interiors ideas revolving around the bathroom
  • Many sanitation providers will present themselves to design decision makers in the Pure Architects Segment
  • Pure Architects offers attractive synergies for the bathroom with the trend theme of life
 
From 15 to 21 January 2018, the new trade fair format Pure Architects will start at imm cologne, with the strong participation of leading sanitation brands. Relaxing wellness hours or fitness cult, country house style or urban chic, parquet or tiles in wood look, hanging lamps over the real wood washstand, decorative sheepskin or trendy cement tiles: the bathroom is being increasingly perceived and used as living space. Koelnmesse also sees the increasing demands of clients for their new bathrooms reflected in the increasing number of individual exhibitors from the bathroom product segment. Its new offering of a specific presentation platform at imm cologne is currently being noted with great interest in the sanitation segment. Visitors to imm cologne will thus already have the opportunity in January 2018 to see for themselves live and experience how the boundaries between bathrooms and living spaces are becoming increasingly blurred in interior design.
 
imm cologne creates the ideal basic conditions for sanitation assortments
With the new design possibilities, doors for new forms of presentation are also opening for sanitation assortments. The international interiors show imm cologne has now developed a special format for assortments that, like the bathroom, enter into a relationship with the architecture: Pure Architects. The participation of leading brands of the sanitation industry confirms the need and the successful Cologne offering of a solution for the integration of the bathroom into the lifestyle context of an interiors show. The sanitation companies anticipate new impulses from the target group orientation of Pure Architects and from a presence in a new proximity with other interior design assortments.

Premiere with renowned bathroom brands
Important players will be at imm cologne 2018. In addition to spa concepts and bathroom furniture, bathtubs and shower tubs, fittings, innovative shower WCs, mirrors, accessories, as well as saunas can also be seen. To date, brands like Antonio Lupi, burgbad, Bette, Klafs, Vola, Geberit, Laufen,Vallone, Tece or Emco are among the exhibitors of the premiere event. "We have also exhibited on occasion at imm cologne over the years. The new Pure Architects concept, with its strict target group orientation, convinced us to come again", explains Sabine Meissner, Head of Marketing for burgbad. The presentation of complete assortments is also not the plan of the bathroom furniture specialists from the Sauerland. The stand concept of Pure Architects also offers the possibility to focus on a central product or brand statement. "We will be presenting our innovative RL40 mirror cabinet programme at imm cologne 2018. It is equally both a spatial concept and a lighting solution. It is a product that requires explanation, and in Pure Architects we find a platform suited to now and again be able to tell a clientele familiar with interiors a few words more", Meissner continues.
 
Bathroom products in the context of trendy interior design worlds and light installations
In contrast with the industry trade fairs, it is primarily the context that motivates sanitation companies to participate in imm cologne: the interior design worlds of the large interiors brands as much as the advanced design of smaller design editors. The other assortment areas of Pure Archtitects are also well-suited to complete the impressions of the trade visitors and end consumers of holistic planning of the bathroom living area.
 
Another attractive common denominator for bathroom planning is provided with the theme of light, which will not only be focused on next year in Pure Architects as technical light, but will also be prominently featured in the Pure section as decorative light. Thus, for example, the visionary living space simulation "Das Haus" will be interpreted in 2018 by the Czech light designer Lucie Koldova.
However, in addition to the product offering in front of the wall, the assortments of, for example, manufacturers of tiles and floor coverings for the bathroom will also be on location. With the wall and floor covering provider Bärwolf, for example, one of the leading providers of mosaics and decorations exhibits his new interiors ideas. Florim, the manufacturer of porcelain stoneware tiles, known for, among other things, his oversized ceramic slabs, provides inspiring tiles for architects and planners. And with TheSize Surfaces, a young company with a strong orientation toward export will exhibit at imm cologne; one that can utilise the experience of more than 40 years in the field of natural stone, and which sells its slabs on the market under the brand name Neolith.

For exhibitors from the bathrooms sector, Pure Architects offers a unique opportunity to present their creative ideas for modern bathrooms in the context of an international interiors show. Visitors will have the opportunity to see for themselves how, in the world of interior design, the boundaries between bathrooms and living spaces are becoming increasingly blurred.
 
interzum2017 © Koelnmesse GmbH
02.05.2017

INTERZUM 2017: FROM UPCYCLING TO THE TINY HOUSE

  • Groundbreaking ideas

interzum is a unique platform for exciting new ideas and innovations: right on cue when the start of spring leaves its first traces in nature, the leading international fair for the furniture and interior construction industries' supplying sections also turned its attention to nature. From biomaterials and green innovations to upcycling, future home lifestyles were the talking point this month, with the other major theme being interzum's importance for design, interior decor and architecture.

  • Groundbreaking ideas

interzum is a unique platform for exciting new ideas and innovations: right on cue when the start of spring leaves its first traces in nature, the leading international fair for the furniture and interior construction industries' supplying sections also turned its attention to nature. From biomaterials and green innovations to upcycling, future home lifestyles were the talking point this month, with the other major theme being interzum's importance for design, interior decor and architecture.

"Upcycling" is one of the words to keep in the back of your head at interzum 2017. It refers to a kind of recycling where selected products are reused and, in the ideal scenario, new, high-quality materials for completely new products are produced. From paper and clothing to fabrics, almost anything that would otherwise end up in the rubbish can be reused with the right creative mindset. Upcycling isn't just fun; it helps to protect our environment. Resources circulate, and less waste is produced. What's more, we get a "new" product at a lower cost or no cost at all - a win-win situation. The special Circular Thinking event area at interzum will present ideas, products and manufacturers, and provide an overview of sustainable upcycling. It's also where visitors will find chairs made from biomaterials. Seats made from plant or vegetable waste? It may sound a little strange at first, but the idea is actually as simple as it is ingenious. After all, the raw materials are freely available in plentiful quantities and can be sustainably reused. The Zostera Stool by designer Carolin Pertsch, for example, is made from seagrass that is washed up on the coasts.

Natural materials and conscious use of resources will have an immense influence on how we live in the future, probably more so than ever before. The global population is constantly growing, and supplies of resources are dwindling. This is yet another good reason to visit the special Circular Thinking event area to find some inspiration. One organisation that has done just that is the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC). Taking its inspiration from nature, the Workshop of Dreams shows just what can happen when American hardwoods are used creatively. interzum will present creative and surprising designs, including The Smile pavilion, a wooden installation.

So much sustainability and innovation should, of course, be rewarded, too. The Green Product Award is presented in 14 categories at the fair. True to its motto, "How will we live tomorrow?", it recognises exceptionally innovative and green products.

How we will live tomorrow is also a question that the Tiny House examines. Living space is becoming more and more expensive, and this is driving the search for solutions that can offer maximum comfort in a limited space. On an area of just 8 square metres that can be surveyed at a glance, the Tiny House is a home in miniature that provides everything you need for a space-saving life and more besides: the house is on wheels, so there are no limits to its mobility.

The special Mobile Spaces event area will also explore the immense impact of mobility on our lives. Cars, planes and ships mean that we are more mobile today than ever before. Designing for these mobile spaces calls for individual solutions because they have their own specific requirements. Surfaces, textiles and fittings will be presented in the event area as ideally suited examples of mobile furnishings, especially in caravans.

This year interzum will present a host of diverse ideas for designing future living spaces. This rich source of inspiration is something that many leading names value and appreciate, not least international architect Peter Ippolito. Professor Peter Zec of Red Dot is also keeping a close eye on current developments and industry trends, and spoke highly of the development of natural materials and how they can be combined with cutting-edge technology. To do justice to these innovations, the interzum award: intelligent material & design will be presented in Cologne.

And to make sure no innovations go undiscovered, Koelnmesse is committed to representing young companies at interzum. This initiative is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy's (BMWi) funding programme. Eligible companies can benefit from assistance with trade fair costs and have the opportunity to present their innovations and market them.

How we will design our future living spaces is the focus of this year's interzum. The world's leading trade fair provides the ideal platform for all kinds of groundbreaking innovations and will do much more than just start a conversation about tomorrow's worlds of interior design.

Koelnmesse is the world's top trade fair organiser for the areas of furnishing, living and lifestyle. At the trade fair hub of Cologne, the leading international fair imm cologne as well as the trade fair formats of LivingKitchen, ORGATEC, spoga+gafa, interzum and Kind + Jugend rank among the internationally renowned and established industry meeting places. These fairs comprehensively represent the upholstered and case furniture segment, the kitchen industry, the office furniture sector and outdoor living as well as the innovations of the furniture supply industry. Over the last few years, Koelnmesse has specifically added international fairs in the most important fast-expanding markets to its portfolio. These include the LivingKitchen China/CIKB in Shanghai, interzum guangzhou in Guangzhou and Pueri Expo in Sao Paulo. With ambista, the network of the interior decorating industry, Koelnmesse offers direct access to relevant products, contacts, competence and events.

Further information: http://www.global-competence.net/interiors/ and http://www.ambista.com

 

imm cologne 2017 © Koelnmesse GmbH, Thomas Klerx
07.02.2017

TRADE FAIR DUO OF IMM COLOGNE AND LIVINGKITCHEN ACHIEVES MORE THAN 150,000 VISITORS FOR THE FIRST TIME

  • One in two trade visitors came from outside Germany
  • The top 30 global retail chains were in Cologne
  • Cologne expands its position as the global capital for interior design

imm cologne and LivingKitchen have achieved a record number of visitors this year. "We met our target and have broken the 150,000-visitor mark," said Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH, who is delighted with the results. Roughly every second trade visitor came from outside Germany, with foreign trade visitors accounting for nearly 50 per cent. "That shows we are right on track with our drive to internationalise the events," Böse continued. Dirk-Uwe Klaas, Managing Director of the Federal Association of the German Furniture Industry, was similarly pleased with the figures. "The Cologne furniture show was a wonderful summit for interior decor.

  • One in two trade visitors came from outside Germany
  • The top 30 global retail chains were in Cologne
  • Cologne expands its position as the global capital for interior design

imm cologne and LivingKitchen have achieved a record number of visitors this year. "We met our target and have broken the 150,000-visitor mark," said Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH, who is delighted with the results. Roughly every second trade visitor came from outside Germany, with foreign trade visitors accounting for nearly 50 per cent. "That shows we are right on track with our drive to internationalise the events," Böse continued. Dirk-Uwe Klaas, Managing Director of the Federal Association of the German Furniture Industry, was similarly pleased with the figures. "The Cologne furniture show was a wonderful summit for interior decor. The German furniture industry is completely satisfied with imm cologne. It was the ideal start to 2017, which will no doubt be an excellent year for the industry," said Klaas.

On behalf of retailers, the President of the German Federal Association of Furniture, Kitchens & Furnishing Retailers (BVDM), Hans Strothoff, gave the following verdict: "The trade fair met retailers' expectations. The quality of the exhibitors was high; a large number of new launches were on show, and visitors had a chance to experience attractive product presentations. This makes a visit to the trade fair well worth its while. And it's why retailers also see the trade fair as a fantastic way to launch the 2017 furniture year."

Of the 104,000 trade visitors, around 56,000 came from Germany and approximately 48,000 from abroad (an increase of 4 per cent). Within Europe, increases in visitor figures were recorded in particular from Spain (up 25 per cent), Russia (up 26 per cent), Italy (up 19 per cent) and the UK (up 13 per cent). Visitor numbers from the Netherlands and Poland also increased. Numbers of overseas trade visitors rose, in particular visitors from China (up 5 per cent), South Korea (up 12 per cent) and India (up 5 per cent). A rise was also recorded in visitor numbers from the Middle East  (up 19 per cent), with particularly strong growth from the United Arab Emirates. With these excellent numbers of foreign visitors, the two trade fairs will boost exhibitors' exports.

Koelnmesse Chief Operating Officer Katharina C. Hamma emphasised the quality of the trade visitors: "No other event brings supply and demand together as effectively in this quality as imm cologne and LivingKitchen." Initial evaluations of the results showed that the trade visitors included large numbers of the global top 30 retail chains, such as John Lewis, Home Retail Group, Harveys Furniture -all from the UK - as well as Conforama from France and Nitori from Japan. The major industry players in online retail - including Amazon and the Otto Group - also used the event intensively for their businesses. With these results, the trade fair duo has confirmed its importance for the interior design industry's global commercial operations on a national and an international level.

LivingKitchen closes with good results

In parallel with the world's most important furnishing fair, imm cologne, the international kitchen event LivingKitchen took place this year. For the seven days of the event, 200 exhibitors from 21 countries - including around 50 first-time and returning exhibitors - showed how much innovation the industry has to offer and how high its standards of design and quality are. This year's LivingKitchen not only followed on seamlessly from its success in 2015, but significantly improved on the key figures in many areas. "For us, LivingKitchen 2017 was a complete success. The world's best-performing kitchen industry needs a leading international trade fair in Germany. Our industry presented an outstanding showcase, and we are convinced that the trade fair will significantly boost demand for kitchens, nationally and internationally," said Kirk Mangels, Chief Executive of the Modern Kitchen Working Group e.V. (AMK). A great number of positive comments were received on the event's concept, which is aimed at both business and the general public. When asked about the event's added value, many exhibitors mentioned the fact that Cologne is the only trade fair where they can present their products in the context of a globally oriented interiors show. "LivingKitchen in Cologne is on an excellent course. We will analyse the results right after the trade fair to see how we can work together to continue to develop the event," said Mangels. But it was not just the exhibitors' innovative products that attracted a highly diverse audience interested in the latest kitchens and good food - the cooking events and large cooking shows also drew visitors to the trade fair on the public days.

The next imm cologne will take place from 15 to 21 January 2018 in Cologne, co-located with LivingInteriors.

Koelnmesse - Global competence in furniture, interiors and design
Further Information: http://www.global-competence.net/interiors/

 

imm cologne 2017 © Koelnmesse GmbH
29.11.2016

IMM COLOGNE 2017: SUSTAINABILITY TAKES OVER THE BEDROOM

  • In Cologne, bed manufacturers will be presenting their new products and ideas in the Sleep Segment.
  • The subject of sustainability will be a key area of focus in a segment strong on Innovation.

"You made your bed, now sleep in it", so the saying goes. The choice of bed determines how well we sleep. That sounds simple, but is in fact quite complex. There are beds of different heights, with varying levels of mattress thickness, type and size, box spring beds, waterbeds and futons. This year, once again, the Sleep segment at imm cologne 2017 offers a complete overview of what is currently on offer from the industry. Across approximately 18,000 square metres, all of the big names in the industry will be presenting their ranges. The themes of the action areas are sustainability and Recycling.

  • In Cologne, bed manufacturers will be presenting their new products and ideas in the Sleep Segment.
  • The subject of sustainability will be a key area of focus in a segment strong on Innovation.

"You made your bed, now sleep in it", so the saying goes. The choice of bed determines how well we sleep. That sounds simple, but is in fact quite complex. There are beds of different heights, with varying levels of mattress thickness, type and size, box spring beds, waterbeds and futons. This year, once again, the Sleep segment at imm cologne 2017 offers a complete overview of what is currently on offer from the industry. Across approximately 18,000 square metres, all of the big names in the industry will be presenting their ranges. The themes of the action areas are sustainability and Recycling.

imm cologne is the perfect place to guide the trade through the multiplicity of beds and mattresses: once again, in 2017 bedroom furniture for every taste and need will be on show here. Says Arne Petersen, Vice President Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse: "Our Sleep segment is again expected to be hugely popular at the coming imm cologne 2017. Hall 9 is already fully booked and Hall 5.1 has also to a large extent been booked by vendors from the Sleep segment."

The big exhibitors will without exception be represented again in the coming year in the city on the Rhine, including the German company Oschmann, which has been manufacturing upholstered beds for five generations, and the home textile specialist Frankenstolz.

And Tempur, Hilding Anders from Sweden, Badenia, Rummel Matratzen, Veldeman, Auping, Fey & Co. as well as De Rucci will be showcasing their contributions to a restful sleep in Cologne. A lot of international companies will be debuting at imm cologne in 2017, including Perzona International, Ecus Sleep, Ersan Madeni, Boydak and Toom Tekstiil, among others. And a number of German companies will also be among those represented at imm cologne for the first time, including Centa Star and Shogazi. Shogazi has been specialising in healthy sleep since 2002. With its mattresses made from natural materials, the Munich-based manufacturer is a perfect match for the focal point of the Sleep segment at imm cologne 2017.

The subject of sustainability will be addressed in two special areas: in cooperation with the American organisation ISPA (International Sleep Products Association), Koelnmesse is creating a Lounge area in Hall 5.1 on the theme of "Mattress Recycling".Hall 9 also addresses the topic of the responsible use of resources: "The Recycling Lounge ties in with the topic we'll be covering in Hall 9, which is the subject of sustainability", explains Petersen. "In this way, the Sleep segment in 2017 will again illustrate the current state of the bedroom furniture segment whilst at the same time offering answers to issues that are relevant to society."

imm cologne and LivingInteriors © Koelnmesse
26.01.2016

IMM COLOGNE/LIVINGINTERIORS A SUCCESSFUL START TO THE NEW YEAR FOR THE INDUSTRY

  • 80.000 trade visitors from 128 countries
  • Significant increase in visitors from Europe
  • 1,185 exhibitors from 50 countries
  • LivingInteriors dazzles with Smarthome

From 18 to 24 January 2016 at imm cologne and LivingInteriors, a total of 1,185 companies from 50 countries presented the trends in furniture and furnishings for the coming year. Buyers from the trade with decisionmaking authority made for a dynamic trade fair during the first five days. With around 80,000 trade visitors from 128 countries, the event recorded a slight increase (4.8 percent) in trade fair visitor numbers compared to 2014. The proportion of visitors from abroad was 46 percent (based on the trade visitor days).

  • 80.000 trade visitors from 128 countries
  • Significant increase in visitors from Europe
  • 1,185 exhibitors from 50 countries
  • LivingInteriors dazzles with Smarthome

From 18 to 24 January 2016 at imm cologne and LivingInteriors, a total of 1,185 companies from 50 countries presented the trends in furniture and furnishings for the coming year. Buyers from the trade with decisionmaking authority made for a dynamic trade fair during the first five days. With around 80,000 trade visitors from 128 countries, the event recorded a slight increase (4.8 percent) in trade fair visitor numbers compared to 2014. The proportion of visitors from abroad was 46 percent (based on the trade visitor days). The development in the number of visitors from overseas was positive, while the trade fair duo recorded an especially significant increase in the number of visitors from Europe.

"This outcome shows that imm cologne is unmatched as a business event for the global furniture and furnishings industry", said Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse, summing up the event.

"This is where the world comes together to do business, which offers a lot of new opportunities for export-oriented companies. At the same time, this fair duo has proved once again that business and creative inspiration are not mutually exclusive", Böse continued. "imm cologne was a wonderful furniture show and has got us off to a very successful start to the 2016 furniture year. With so many new products and ideas, innovations and great models in all price ranges, we are confident that the German furniture industry will achieve another increase in sales this year", added Dirk-Uwe Klaas, Managing Director of the Federal Association of the German Furniture Industry (VDM). This was confirmed by Hans Strothoff, President of the Federal Association of German Furniture, Kitchens and Furnishing Retailers (BVDM): "This year's imm cologne really stimulated a keen interest in furniture. Rarely has the mood in industry and trade been so positive as at this fair. Wherever you looked, only smiling faces and great optimism. imm cologne has really catapulted the industry into the new business year with a swing."

The atmosphere among visitors was characterised by business, networking and the search for trends. In the past few years, imm cologne has raised its international profile, not just among exhibitors, but also among visitors. 2016 saw a significant increase in buyers from Europe, primarily from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain and Austria. The event also registered a clear increase in the number of visitors from overseas, especially from the USA, China and India. Including estimated figures for the last fair day, a total of 120.000 visitors were inspired by the interior design worlds.

In addition to the products on show, the highlights of the 2016 trade fair once again included "Das Haus - Interiors on Stage", a walk-through simulation of a home, which was designed this year by Sebastian Herkner, and the "Smart Home" special exhibition at LivingInteriors, where numerous companies showcased solutions for a cleverly networked home that are already available today.

Trends at imm cologne/LivingInteriors 2016

Homes are becoming homier once again Cosiness and a feeling of security are increasingly important in the home. There is also a clear enthusiasm for new combinations. Along with furniture and decorations, accessories and home textiles that suit people's preferences when used individually are combined freely. The result is homes that are as unique as their inhabitants.

Mid-century design is booming
Across all product sectors, a striking number of furniture designs are reminiscent of those from the 1940s through the 1960s. These designs make efficient use of materials, have delicate features and are lightweight and above all smaller. The trend can be explained by the smaller living spaces available in city homes, though also by a general sense of nostalgia. Like an old friend, sleek mid-century furniture proves its value in uncertain times.

Natural materials are on the rise
Wood, glass, stone and metal: natural materials are particularly popular. In addition to the large proportion of wood used, for example in tabletops, chair and table frames, valuable natural stone is an increasingly common material in tabletops. Popular varieties include the European classic "marble" as well as exotic South American stone with particularly unique veining. The use of tree bark in wall decoration is another trend on the horizon.

The next imm cologne will be held from 16 through 22 January 2017 in Cologne - together with LivingKitchen, the international event for all topics related to the kitchen.