As in previous years, imm cologne also had a very strong international profile: around 50 per cent of the trade visitors came from outside Germany. Photo: Harald Fleissner, Koelnmesse
The imm cologne drew to a close on Sunday, 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. “imm cologne presented the relevant issues emotionally this year and gave a whole industry new, creative impetus. With its international attractiveness, it was a dynamic event that made for a highly promising start to the new year,” said Böse, who is delighted with imm cologne’s performance. 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.”
Trade visitors at international top level
The major industry players in online retail also used the event for their business. Photo: Thomas Klerx, Koelnmesse
The atmosphere among visitors was characterised by business, networking and trend spotting. The countries with the highest numbers of visitors were the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and France: The largest increases were recorded in visitors from Switzerland (+18 per cent), the Netherlands (+11 per cent) and Belgium (+10 per cent). The growth in visitors from Italy and Russia was also very pleasing. Overall, visitors from Europe rose by 3.8 per cent. The numbers of visitors from North America also increased significantly (+14.1 per cent). Due to the trade dispute with the USA, visitor figures from China remained stable at a high level of around 3,000 visitors.
But imm cologne did not just excel quantitatively. Registration data for the event shows that it attracted a high-quality international audience of retailers and wholesalers. Specialist retailers and high-profile international visitors from the furnishings trade and interior design business were recorded as visitors, with many of them coming from the global top 30 chains. Growth here was especially strong from the United Kingdom, including visitors from DFS, Heal’s and John Lewis. The event also drew a strong audience from Scandinavia in the form of IDdesign, JYSK, Svenska Hem, the Indoor Group from Finland, Bromölla Möbelaffär and Sängjätten, whose entire purchasing teams attended several days of the trade fair. They were joined at imm cologne by decision-makers from the major international department stores, including alinea and BUT from France, El Corte Inglés from Spain, Nitori from Japan and Boston Interiors from the USA. The major industry players in online retail − including Amazon, the Otto Group and Wayfair − also used the event intensively for their business. The Pure segment at imm cologne attracted significantly larger numbers of design-led retailers in the homewares and interiors segment from the USA, Canada, Asia, Russia and Korea, demonstrating the strong appeal of the trade fair’s offerings for the international specialist trade.
Better orientation due to new division
For the first time, the trade fair focused on two interior worlds: Pure and Home. Photo: Harald Fleissner, Koelnmesse
The success of imm cologne 2020 reflects the further development of its content and concept, a necessary step that the interior business event initiated this year. For the first time, the trade fair focused on two interior worlds: Pure comprehensively presented the world of on-trend design brands, while its counterpart, Home, showcased furnishing solutions with a lifestyle feel for modern dwellings. At the end of the trade fair, all those involved agreed that the new division had made the event clearer and easier for visitors to navigate. With the significant expansion of Let’s be smart – Smart Village, the trade fair also placed much greater emphasis on smart living and provided the industry with a highly attractive platform for cross-sector matchmaking.
Exhibitors and visitors welcomed the new structure in Hall 10 and the value-added content generated by the special Future Interiors event area, which focused on German furniture trends and the crucial issue of sustainability. The conceptual further enhancement of Hall 11 in the Pure Atmospheres segment was also seen as an important step in imm cologne’s development. “Together with our market partners from the industry and the specialist trade, we will continue to systematically expand imm cologne into a global marketplace for the international furniture and interior design industry. This calls for the courage and the determination to break new ground,” said Oliver Frese, the new Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse, in his summary of the event’s future direction.
Alongside the trade fair’s conceptual further development, imm cologne was considerably more emotional with trend areas such as “Das Haus”, Future Interiors and Pure Atmospheres. With special event areas like these, the 2020 interior business event provided both a space for interior moments and inspiration for commercial success. This year’s mix of new business, emotion, international reach and future issues are a highly promising signal for imm cologne’s further development.