Retail Observer

March 2017

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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RETAILOBSERVER.COM MARCH 2017 52 T he trade fair duo of 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 percent. "That shows we are right on track with our drive to internationalize 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, approximately 56,000 came from Germany and around 48,000 came from abroad (an increase of 4 percent). Within Europe, increases in visitor figures were recorded from Spain (up 25 percent), Russia (up 26 percent), Italy (up 19 percent) and the UK (up 13 percent). Visitor numbers from the Netherlands and Poland also increased. Numbers of overseas trade visitors rose, visitors from China (up 5 percent), South Korea (up 12 percent) and India (up 5 percent). A rise was also recorded in visitor numbers from the Middle East (up 19 percent), 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, emphasized 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 imm Cologne and LivingKitchen

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