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A successful start to the season: positive mode at the trade-fair trio in Frankfurt


The three consumer-goods fairs in Frankfurt – Christmasworld, Paperworld and Creativeworld – successfully opened the new business season with future-oriented topics and the latest trends. 3,119 exhibitors from 68 countries inspired the national and international trade with innovations from the fields of seasonal and festive decoration, paper, office supplies and stationery, and hobby, handicrafts and artists’ requisites.

More than 87,000 visitors from 161 countries made their way to Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre to discover highlights and new products for their businesses at the three leading international trade fairs. “The high level of internationality is one of the most decisive qualitative factors of our events. The outstanding visitor quality and the personal contacts are also unique features whereby interactivity, emotionalization and intelligent links between the analogue and digital worlds are the main driving forces for the coming business season. And our trio of fairs generate the right impulses for this”, says Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt.

A successful start to the season: positive mode at the trade-fair trio in Frankfurt

The trade-fair trio confirmed its role as the international market place for innovations and an indispensable business platform for the exchange of information. This concept attracted visitors from all around the world to Frankfurt am Main: after Germany, the top visitor nations were Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the USA, France and Russia. Particularly large increases were noted from China and the USA. “The level of internationality on the visitor side is excellent. We are very pleased with the course of business at the fair. The mood in the market is also positive. Companies that are active and committed have good prospects for success despite or, rather, thanks to the right connection with online activities”, says Kathrin Völker, Managing Director of Räder GmbH. However, it is not only the high level of internationality but also the visitor structure that makes the difference: 76 percent of visitors are top managers. “Without doubt, it is the decision makers who come to Frankfurt”, confirms Kerstin Winkler, Marketing Marabu.

Decorating, giving, writing and handicrafts are moving closer together in the retail trade and among consumers. A decisive role in this respect is being played by the shopping experience at the point of sale, the presentation and advice given and intelligent links with the online business. The process of structural change taking place in the German retail trade is a driving force in the sector – and confirmed by a new study by the IFH Köln retail-trade research institute published on the occasion of the fair. In this connection, the three consumer-goods fairs in Frankfurt show trade visitors not only a spectrum of products unrivalled worldwide but also future-oriented trends they can use to display their assortment in varied and interesting ways throughout the year.

“The trade profits from the powerful synergistic effects of themes that are only to be found together here in Frankfurt. The trade-fair trio leads the market in qualitative terms when it comes to tomorrow’s themes in the sector”, says Thomas Grothkopp, Director General of the Home and Office Retail Trade Association (Handelsverband Wohnen und Büro). The fact that the retail trade regards Christmasworld, Paperworld and Creativeworld as trend barometers for the coming season is reflected by statistics for the event, which show specialist retailers as being the largest group of visitors, accounting for 30 percent of the total. The level of satisfaction on the visitor side also continues on a very high plane at around 95 percent.

This year, the trade can draw on various trends: simple elegance and opulent stylishness are not mutually exclusive. Whether rich dark shades of blue and green combined with glistening gold or light natural nuances with silvery highlights, both trends underscore urban stylishness and lend a fine aura to everything from Christmas decorations to the DIY world and the office. These colour trends are combined with sustainable products, natural materials, reduction and a touch of exclusiveness.

An affinity to nature and sustainability continue to be in. For the modern office or home-office workplace, Paperworld presented cork files and calendars made of hand-crafted paper requiring little water during the manufacturing process. These products are combined with light shades of beige or pastel colours that give the office an airy and modern feeling. Together with simple elegance, flexibility plays a decisive role in today’s office. From tables that can be transformed into whiteboards in a jiffy to digital pens and stamps, the trend is clearly towards future-oriented solutions offering greater functionality and premium features.

The creative sector is also focused on naturalness: with vegetable and ecological paints, designs inspired by leaves and earthy shades. Environmentally friendly products, such as papier mâché made using recycled newspaper or paints based on natural raw materials, are indicative of a growing environmental awareness. Perfect for this are a personal touch and an imperfect finish. Accordingly, the individualisation of textiles with hand-lettering, graffiti, screen printing or stamps continues to be popular. The personal style dominates at home: thick yarns for wall hangings, covers, hanging planters or table decorations in traditional macramé techniques. Trendy colour triads, e.g., pink-yellow-turquoise, also provide for fresh and lively accents. Also trendy this year is pouring acrylic mixed media, the result of which brings to mind minerals and the inside of precious stones.

Christmas and seasonal decorations cover a broad range of designs and elaborate hand-made products: Christmas baubles are adorned with real gold and pendants decorated artistically with pearls, sequins or feathers. Also to be seen: culinary motifs, such as cupcakes and tarts. Dominant are warm colours that are gaining in depth, especially blue in shades of all kinds, as well as earthy tones, such as matcha green and powdery shades of pink and berry combined with gold. When it comes to materials, sustainable materials are en vogue with an important role being played not only by wood, cotton, glass and porcelain but also flowers and recycled plastic. Genuine green plants and orchids, easy to care for and packed in bags and pots ready for customers to purchase spontaneously, are a source of additional revenue for the trade. ‘Christmas delights’, e.g., seasonal delicacies and beverages, such as imaginatively varied teas and traditionally-made sweets in colourful wrappings and affectionate messages, are a growing attraction in the heart of Christmasworld.

Innovative lighting and design concepts cater for emotionally-charged shopping experiences and increasing footfall in the retail trade and city centres. Next year, the three consumer-goods fairs will once again be held around the last Saturday in January: Christmasworld: 24 to 28 January 2020. Paperworld and Creativeworld: 25 to 28 January 2020

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