The furniture industry across the European Union is one of the main sectors involved in trade with forest products originating in the countries that have signed or are negotiating Voluntry Partnership Agreements (VPA) with the European Union. Assembled wooden furniture consistently accounts for nearly 40% of the total value of EU imports of timber and timber products from VPA partner countries and they also supply EU furniture manufacture with a range of wood raw materials, including logs, sawn wood, mouldings, veneer and plywood.
The distribution channels and factors affecting competitiveness in this industry are also distinct from those in the traditional wood importing sector. IMMs previous report (FLEGT VPA Partners in EU Timber Trade 2014 to 2016: Main Report) concluded that there is a need to significantly increase coverage in other sectors, notably furniture manufacturing and retailing, and joinery and engineered wood products. This study has therefore been conducted to provide a more comprehensive baseline and recommendations for IMM’s long term monitoring of trends in the wood furniture sector.
The study is based around a series of semi-structured interviews with 47 companies based in the seven major European markets involved in the importation of 83% of the furniture imported to the European Union from the VPA countries (UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Spain). The research was undertaken by IMM’s network of national correspondents. It is estimated that there are 130,000 “furniture companies” in the European Union and approximately 90% of the furniture consumed within the EU is manufactured within Europe.
Therefore exporters based within the VPA countries are entering a crowded and fiercely competitive market. The companies that participated represented a broad sample of the value chain across the seven countries, from very large retailers, through to medium sized furniture manufacturers and distributors. The range of furniture products covered includes indoor furniture of all types and outdoor furniture plus a number that import raw materials such as sawn wood or panels or furniture components for furniture manufacturing within the EU.
interzum is the world’s leading trade fair for furniture production and interior design. This is where the most important business is conducted and momentum for the global furniture supply industry is created. Decision makers, opinion leaders, disseminators and trendsetter from all over the world keep up with the innovations in the industry, seek and establish new contacts – those who want to do truly good business should not miss this opportunity.
interzum gives the supplier industry the opportunity to demonstrate all of its innovative power. What remains the same? What can we expect in the future? At interzum participants find a wealth of answers to these key questions affecting the market. interzum is organized in three exhibition segments. The structure brings the players from the entire value chain closer together – and create a new level of clarity for exhibitors and visitors alike.
Good design begins with the product provided by the supplier. At interzum 2019 the sector will demonstrate how customers’ growing demands in terms of technology, energy efficiency, comfort and convenience can be met.
This includes: Lamps and lighting systems, semi-finished products for cabinet, kitchen, office and modular furniture fittings, locks, built-in parts.
Resource conservation, sustainable raw materials, innovative surface design: These are just a few of the trends in this area. At interzum 2019 the best new ingredients for tomorrow’s sales success will be presented for the first time.
This includes: Wood, veneers, parquet flooring, interior works, decorative surfaces, decor papers, laminates, wood-based panels, laminated plastic, mineral materials, edges, surface treatments, embossing cylinders, press plates.
Temperature-regulating cover fabrics, material-optimized cutting machines for foam materials and leather that use little electricity, weather-resistant outdoor fabrics: Today, success is the result of innovative ideas, high-performance materials – and perfect processing with advanced technologies and machines. This area is where the quality leaders and drivers of innovation from all levels of the value chain present their newly developed products.
This includes: Machinery for upholstery and bedding, upholstery materials, upholstery accessories, cover fabrics, leather, adhesives.
As the world’s largest trade fair in the sector, interzum is a must-see event for everyone aiming for success in the market for furniture production and interiors. That’s because interzum offers a comprehensive overview of new technologies and designs, encompassing an extremely broad scope of products as only a leading international trade fair can. The world is in motion more than ever in the light of the current situation, but it is also certain that there is going to be business after the crisis too. Trade fairs will have a special significance here, because they serve as a driver and trendsetter for an industry. Beyond this, trade fairs also create space and encounters that cannot be depicted virtually. “Leading international trade fairs like interzum are pure energy, which enfolds when people get together, engage in a personal and emotional exchange and ultimately result in business,” stated Matthias Pollmann, Vice President, Trade Fair Management, Koelnmesse. “This is why we are getting ready unabatedly for interzum 2021, because we intend to continue the success story of interzum,” the Vice President added. The high interest in interzum is also reflected by the current registration status.
Good twelve months before the next interzum opens its doors on 4 May 2021, the clear form of the new concept is visible: The hall allocation has been optimised with the addition of the exhibition hall 1plus, supplier segments have been grouped together and the homogeneous structures revitalised.
Most conspicuously the new hall, 1plus, which is being integrated into the trade fair concept for the first time in 2021 for the segment “Materials & Nature”. However, this new exhibition hall is just one aspect of an even more deeply-founded structure optimisation of the exhibition space: The spatial consolidation of the exhibition segments enables the exhibitors to present themselves more cohesively in line with the focus of their offers. The consequences: A significant increase in the efficiency and quality for the trade fair visitors and thus more successful contacts, facilitated business and faster transactions.
The foundation was already laid for the new concept at interzum 2019: with the integration of Hall 10.1 a closed hall connection, a kind of “strip” from Hall 9, to 10.1 through to the levels 1 and 2 of Hall 11 was created in the section “Textile & Machinery”. As such, the suppliers for mattress production, fabrics and material processing were located on one connected visitor aisle.
This type of visitor guiding will also apply in future for the segment “Materials & Nature”. The Halls 6, 4.2, 5.2 and 1plus form a further connected area. The attractiveness of this planning has convinced many exhibitors so far to apply for the coming interzum at an early stage – and happily not just existing, loyal customers, but also global players, who haven’t been represented in Cologne before such as Financiera Maderera, S.A. or Yildiz Entegre.
The section “Function & Components” is also benefitting from the new hall concept, namely in addition to its main focus lying in Halls 7 and 8, it will have a second hotspot in Hall 10.2. Thanks to the concentration on just two centres for the fittings section, the visitors will be spared a lot of walking in the spring of 2021, which means they can engage in their planned business dialogues quickly and directly.
Of course, in a year’s time the component suppliers for the office furniture industry will once again be placed as a closed group. With the relocation from Hall 5.2 to Hall 5.1, the site optimisation will enable the success model for this homogenous group to continue.
“I am convinced that we are taking a major step forward with our comprehensively optimised site plan. Our international leading trade fair has also been adapted in this aspect to secure the satisfaction and business success of our exhibitors and visitors. And with a view to imminent changes in the trade fair business, we intend to sustainably enhance the foundation of interzum precisely at this period in time to ensure a high appeal long-term and raise interzum’s profile,” concluded Matthias Pollmann, Vice President, Trade Fair Management, Koelnmesse.
Koelnmesse – Global Competence in Furniture, Interiors and 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 idd Shanghai, interzum bogotá in Bogotá, interzum guangzhou in Guangzhou and Pueri Expo in Sao Paulo. With ambista, the online portal for the interiors business, Koelnmesse offers direct access to products, contacts, expertise and events relevant to the industry all year round.
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