13.–19.01.2020 for all: 17.–19.01.2020

#immcologne

Speaker statements on the imm cologne Congress

These are the two questions we put to our speakers: Why are you appearing at the imm cologne Congress 2020? And what makes your talk so exciting?

Here are their answers:

“The world is spinning faster and faster, and so the demands on the furniture industry are also growing. Digitalisation is an excellent way of preventing us from getting dizzy. Nevertheless, the term ‘digitalisation’ is frequently a source of universal insecurity – the field seems too vast! Let’s talk about how exactly this diversity makes digitalisation such a valuable tool.”

Laura Müller
Head of Communications and Spokesperson, deinSchrank.de

“The transformation began in retail segments like clothing and cosmetics, but in the past five years, the furniture and mattresses market has also changed significantly. The notion that consumers would ever order mattresses online without trying them first was unimaginable. Since then, the market share for online mattress sales in Germany has almost reached 30 per cent – and this figure is set to rise. Bettzeit has played an active role in shaping and accelerating this trend. But the company has also always been conscious of the importance of offline retail and its influence on the consumer journey. We’re now taking this disruptive mindset and embarking on the next phase of our development. With our Emma and Dunlopillo brands and in conjunction with our around 20 international retail partners, we’re building ‘love brands’, which people around the world love because they improve their sleep.”

Katrin Nieke
Head of Brand Performance Marketing, Emma - The Sleep Company

“E-commerce is a growth driver. Sales trends in the furniture retail trade in Germany and western Europe have remained pleasingly steady in recent years, with slight fluctuations. Falling rates of unemployment, rising household incomes, low interest rates, a high level of construction activity and an economic climate that has so far been stable have provided the current conditions for a high willingness to buy among consumers.

But closer inspection reveals that the bricks-and-mortar furniture trade is contracting by around 5 per cent a year, whereas the online retail business is growing by approximately 20 per cent.

For furniture manufacturers, this raises the question of whether it may after all be worthwhile tapping into the growing e commerce channel, despite this presenting its own particular challenges. A data-driven approach, the need for short delivery times and delivery to end customers are just some of the aspects that necessitate a new business model. Start-ups – of which there are an increasing number in the furniture industry too – can invent themselves from scratch and develop a business model that is consistently aligned with the needs of end customers in this segment.

In contrast, established manufacturers face the dual challenge of having to reposition themselves while making sure they do not neglect established sales channels in the bricks-and-mortar trade, which continue to provide a high proportion of their revenue.

This lecture will show how this can be done successfully and what stumbling blocks need to be cleared out of the way.”

Michael Stiehl
Managing Director, Rauch Möbelwerke GmbH