Going Home with a Positive Mood
The last five days have showed that Bad Salzuflen is the trade fair location for consumer-oriented furniture and furnishings. In spite of a patchy year for the furniture industry to date, the packed Trade Fair Centre was dominated by a positive mood right from the start. On offer at the M.O.W. 2017 was a strongly-selling range of furniture and furnishings, all of which were available for order. For those not necessarily out on a shopping trip, there were product premieres, innovations, new concepts, sales promotion campaigns, advertising and presentation ideas for bolstering one's own sales.
A new presentation level, a positive atmosphere, great furniture, imaginative concepts for the middle market, innovation and lots of strongly-selling merchandise – all this might be one way of summing up a successful M.O.W. 2017. One central aim of trade fair director Bernd Schäfermeier envisaged achieving even more uniqueness in the market. And it succeeded: the uniqueness of the location, the concept, the merchandise on offer and the date became more than clear at this M.O.W.: Bad Salzuflen is the autumn trade fair location for consumer-oriented furniture and furnishings. This is where the industry meets, which was emphasised by the numerous exclusive exhibitors who present their products in Germany only at the M.O.W. It is also the only port of call in Germany for the many industry visitors who, according to initial assessments, came in considerably greater numbers from 64 countries than last year (60 countries).
The five percent-plus increase in visitors included both groups and individual customers. The M.O.W. covers all furniture sales channels, from home handyman markets to food retailers. As in previous years, all the purchasing associations were there. The increase resulted from the presence of all distribution channels other than the classical furniture trade, with specialists and independent furniture companies also being strongly represented. The M.O.W. 2017 continued to show a quantitative and a qualitative increase in visitors from abroad. So it was all the more incomprehensible to the exhibitors that the affiliated companies of the German purchasing associations made too little use of the possible advantages afforded by a visit to the M.O.W.
Not only new customers were in praise of the unique atmosphere at the exhibition, the concentration on business and the comprehensive service package. They enjoyed the typical advantages of the M.O.W. such as its easy access, free parking, free hospitality and space for intensive discussions, they benefited from the inspiration and contacts and appreciated the manageable size of the M.O.W. in conjunction with the great variety of exhibits. Innovation was apparent in many dimensions this year.
New in 2017
The new furniture – fresh, great, special, strongly-selling, intelligent, innovative, functional, sophisticated, modern, creative, individual, comfortable models and product ranges for sale. The exhibitors impressed with solution-oriented ideas such as high-level tables with integrated wine-racks, bedside water-bottle holders and foot-adjustable drawers in wardrobes. With optimised technology and perfect surfaces, the innovations in the supplier sector contributed to increased comfort and higher quality. Rapid-delivery programmes – especially important for online marketing – emphasised speed as their core sales argument together with quality, service and price.
Increased quality of the exhibitors: Besides newcomers and specialists, well-known exhibitors of various product areas and ranges and for all distribution channels also displayed their merchandise. That made the trade fair interesting to an even wider industry public, whether specialists, major dealers, internet vendors, discounters, home handyman markets, mail order vendors or retail food outlets.
The distinct international orientation of the fair bore witness to its growing popularity outside Germany where both exhibitors and visitors were concerned.
The expansion of the exhibition space with the construction by the Forte company, integrated into the hall concept as Hall 9 reinforced the location's popularity and attractiveness and expanded its available services. The entire 4,000 sq. m hall was taken up by Forte, one of the biggest European manufacturers of "box-style" furniture and whom the M.O.W. acquired as a major new exhibitor.
The attractive presentation ensured a different appearance in the new hall structure and supplemented the unique typical M.O.W. flair with a state-of-the-art dimension.
The variety of the exhibits in terms of range, advertising and sales campaigns proved very popular, with new exhibition space concepts, shop systems, intelligent sales aids and POS campaigns.
The M.O.W. comprehensive services were extended further with a shuttle service and a mobile app.
Facts & Figures 2017
All exhibition halls at the Bad Salzuflen Trade Fair Centre were fully occupied, including the new Hall 9. Four hundred and sixteen exhibitors from 35 countries displayed their wares on 85,000 sq. m of exhibition space; in 2016 this figure was 412 exhibitors from 38 countries. This made the M.O.W. very stable and consistent as a trade fair for the middle market. Forty-six percent of the exhibitors in 2017 were from Germany and 54% were from abroad. In 2016, 44% were from Germany and 56% were from abroad. The most strongly-represented country after Germany this year was Poland, followed by China, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy and France. Thus, the M.O.W. more or less reflected the supplier structure of the European furniture supplier industry. The official statistics also identified Poland as the country main in which the most suppliers are based, with the Chinese in second place.
The international offer of the M.O.W. was of selected quality and, in keeping with the concept of the fair, concentrated completely on the middle market. It included the living area in the home from the hallway to the bathroom and covered all price segments from entry-level to upper-middle.
Product Trends at the M.O.W. 2017
Products for the cash-and-carry market, "Young Living" and conventional products balanced each other out in terms of style; differentiation by model and price +++ modular ranges for the greatest possible individuality +++ less extensive modular ranges for the cash-and-carry market +++ multi-functional individual items +++ oak was the favourite for wooden furniture +++ grey became established as a colour +++ matt-type lacquers +++ imitation concrete, stone and marble facings led the field +++ wood-metal combinations +++ "industrial style" living +++ items on runners or slim legs +++ legs at angles and pastel colours for the Scandinavian look +++ country house furniture and furnishings were still in demand +++ padded furniture is becoming more "organic" +++ textile furniture still fashionable +++ soft fabrics and coarse, heavy textures +++ green and blue tones +++ bedside tables in sets of two +++ couch tables with storage space +++ giant dining tables with comfortable armchairs and benches +++ new lighting concepts for bedrooms ++ box-spring beds with sound systems +++ needs-based solutions and perfected cupboard interiors +++ optimised opening technologies for folding, pushing or flipping up and down +++ country house bathroom furniture and furnishings +++ and much more.
The atmosphere at the M.O.W. 2017 was positive right from the start. Overall, this year's fair again displayed its unique position for the middle market and its strong position as Europe's largest and most important autumn furniture trade fair. Many German and foreign purchasers and decision-makers stocked up on new models and product ranges. Foreign buyers in particular and specialist dealers, mail order companies and online vendors placed orders knowing exactly what they wanted. Even the purchasing associations grabbed what they wanted immediately or prepared decisions for subsequent association fairs. Accordingly, positive post-fair business is expected. Thanks to the building boom and low interest rates, the need for new furniture ought to be secure for next year in Germany at least. "Let's all go home with this positive mood," Bernd Schäfermeier said, "as the basis for a successful furniture year in 2018!"