146,000 visitors from 138 countries – a significant increase in visitors from abroad.
After seven days, imm cologne and LivingKitchen closed their doors with a very positive outcome on Sunday, 25 January 2015. 146,000 visitors from 138 countries came to the Cologne exhibition grounds, among them 102,000 industry visitors (99,000 industry visitors in 2013) from the national and international trade, meaning that the fair duo exceeded even its extraordinary performance of 2013.
“These figures prove that the international appeal of the two events in Cologne has grown even more and that the fair duo is, without a doubt, the most important platform for the domestic as well as the international market”, concludes Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH. “This is a great indication for Cologne as a trade fair location and confirms the effectiveness of imm cologne and LivingKitchen as a marketing tool”, he adds. Dirk-Uwe Klaas, Managing Director of the Federal Association of the German Furniture Industry, drew a similarly positive conclusion. “We already had very high expectations of the fair and even they were exceeded. We are happy about the increase in national and international industry visitors and are starting the 2015 furniture year very optimistically.” Hans Strothoff, President of the Federal Association of German Furniture, Kitchens and Furnishing Retailers summarised the outcome for the trade sector: “The fair was marvellous and exceeded retailers’ expectations.
imm cologne/LivingKitchen is the most important fair in the world for the trade”.
This year, imm cologne and LivingKitchen presented themselves as very international events. Of the 102,000 industry visitors, around 56,000 came from Germany and approximately 46,000 from abroad (an increase of 13 per cent). In total, the percentage of visitors from abroad was 45 (based on industry visitor days).
Within Europe, increases in visitor figures were recorded in particular from Spain (up 27 per cent), the UK (up 20 per cent), Italy (up 11 per cent) and the Netherlands (up 13 per cent). Visitor figures from France, Scandinavia and Poland also showed good growth and off set the politically induced fall off in visitors from Russia. Significant increases could also be seen in industry visitor figures from China (up 32 per cent) and from the US (up 47 per cent).
“The excellent levels of visitor attendance from abroad meant we were able to strengthen our exhibitors’ export businesses. Italian companies, for instance, did some very good business here in Cologne with German retailers as well as with those from abroad”, says Katharina C. Hamma, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH. 44,000 consumers took advantage of the open days to find out about the trends for the coming season.
LivingKitchen closes with good results
In parallel with the world’s most important furnishing fair imm cologne, international kitchen event LivingKitchen took place this year. After 2011 and 2013, LivingKitchen once again proved to be a powerful attraction.
Its strong appeal could be felt not just in Germany, the home of the kitchen, but also far beyond the country’s borders. For seven days, 215 exhibitors from 22 countries showcased their innovative drive, high design standards and quality. With the proportion of visitors from abroad at 45 per cent, the event once more proved to be very international. “We are extremely satisfied with LivingKitchen 2015, in particular with the increase in the number of industry visitors from Germany and abroad as well as the media coverage on the topic of kitchens surrounding the fair. We are hopeful that this will generate positive momentum for the entire kitchen industry”, says Kirk Mangels, Managing Director of the Working Group AMK (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Die Moderne Küche e.V./Modern Kitchen), in summary. This year, LivingKitchen not only followed on seamlessly from its success in 2013, but significantly improved on the key figures in many areas. Innovative presentations by manufacturers, world premieres of new kitchen furniture, household appliances, accessories and cooking shows with a celebrity factor – the outstanding mix of everything connected to kitchens and cooking ensured steady levels of visitors on all days of the fair as well as satisfied exhibitors.
We already know that the kitchen industry is not recession proof. Though most companies have held up pretty well so far, we are starting to some some cracks in the road to recovery. Some are pretty wide and deep…
The companies who seem to be effected the most, by the world recession, are a few of the largest companies. Perhaps their sheer size, makes it so much harder to adjust to though times and make the unnecessary adjustments quickly.
If you look at the 10 largest European Companies, you can see the effect of the global economy – Nobia, the largest European kitchen group (at least in 2009), already sold off Pronorm in 2010 and is now reported to pull out their Poggenpohl brand from the up coming Eurocucina…
One other German industry giant – the Alno Group, is also reported to be in rough waters. The ever so needed capital, from new Swiss investor, Mr. Max Muller is hopefully going to help the company who has reportedly have gone through several changes in middle and upper management lately and allegedly is in the middle of a pending law suit by the previous CEO over compensation.
In Italy, the recent bankruptcy of the 50+ year old Salvarani and the rumors of many brands in financial difficulties have the industry in buzz…
It will be very interesting to see what the Milan Fair and the Eurocucina show will look like next April. Rumor has it that Cosmit, who is the organizer of the show, is working very hard on convincing companies to return to the show next year.
After many requests and lots of diliberations I’ve decided to post my own top 20 European brands. Top 20 European kitchen companies, because I simply felt that there are too many great European kitchen brands to limit the list to just top 10.
My Top 20 is based on the following criteria’s:
- DESIGN – overall product design, esthetics and selection depth (colors, materials, design elements, etc.).
- PRODUCT INNOVATION – is this a kitchen brand that takes risks, that is on the cutting edge of technology and innovates or just a company that copies others?
- PRODUCT QUALITY – how well made is the product? Does the company ‘cuts corners’?
- SERVICE – delivery on time, delivers complete orders, ‘after sale’ service, etc.
I have chosen not to take into consideration COMPANY SIZE, as there is no real direct benefit to the buyer and I’ve already listed the 10 largest European brands.
I also did not factor VALUE because I feel that value is very individual – what one consumer sees as a great value, another may view as cheap. Webster’s definition of Value is – “a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged”. Once a kitchen brand has top design, innovation, quality and service, the price will always be higher. Surprizingly, there are a few kitchen brands on this list that have a pretty good value, as well as ranking high on all the other categories.
In the Top 20 European Kitchen 11 Italian kitchen brands, 7 German kitchen companies, one English and one French are in the above list.
So, without further a due and in alphabetical order here are my Top 20 European kitchen Brands:
Honorable mentions: there were a few companies that did not make it to my Top 20 European Kitchen Brands, but deserve a mention. Also in the advise of one of the readers of this blog, i’ve decided to update this post and add a few more (they deserve it!). We’ll call this section the “hors catégorie” (thanks Pierangelo):
Clive Christian – ranked high on DESIGN and if marketing was a category, will most definitely be included in the Top 20 list.
Marchi – ranked very high on DESIGN and INNOVATION.
Minotti – one of the best in creating the very unique, minimalist and clean look, that goes beyond a kitchen design. Not for everyone and is available only in selected few locations worldwide but Minotti is at the top of the DESIGN category.
LaCornue – though they are really more of an appliance company (ranges, cook tops, etc.) , they do offer cabinets and other elements that allow them to complete a kitchen. Very unique DESIGN, perhaps a trend setter in the high end appliance arena, with HIGH QUALITY products.