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31.03.2016 Heimtextil 2016 Final Report: Increase in exhibitors and visitors boosts Heimtextil

A higher than ever percentage of international exhibitors at 89 per cent

Digital printing, upholstery and bed product segments on the rise

Heimtextil in Frankfurt am Main, the leading international trade fair for home and contract textiles, will finish today with a clear increase in the number of exhibitors and visitors. Over 69,000 trade visitors (2015: 67,861) and 2,866 exhibitors (2015: 2,723) from across the world travelled to Frankfurt from 12-15 January to start the economically promising 2016 business and trade fair year together. Detlef Braun, CEO of Messe Frankfurt, was visibly satisfied with the outcome: ‘The world of textile interior design came to Frankfurt and the increase in exhibitors and visitors alike speaks for itself. The positive economic indicators also boosted discussions between suppliers and purchasers. Heimtextil has thus impressively consolidated its position as the top global meeting place for the industry’.

Martin Auerbach, Managing Director of the German Association of Home Textiles Manufacturers, confirms that ‘Heimtextil 2016 has left a lasting impression on us. The confident presence of our members is a positive indicator for the 2016 financial year. In numerous discussions, both exhibitors and visitors declared themselves very satisfied’.

Cristobal Montero Álvarez, purchaser at Europe’s biggest department store chain El Corte Inglés, emphasised the importance of Heimtextil for international traders: For us, Heimtextil has been the most important trade fair when it comes to the purchase of home and house textiles for a number of years. No other trade fair offers such an international range of exhibitors. The quality and price of suppliers at Heimtextil appeals to us. This year, we were particularly impressed by the new technical solutions being offered in the sun protection segment’.

Global outlook of Heimtextil
Heimtextil in Frankfurt is by far the most international event of its kind. ‘From northern Europe to South Africa, from America to Asia: visitors to Heimtextil come from across the world and all of them want to see what the latest trends in the textile market are’, summarises Paola Ribera of the décor and furniture supplier Texathenea from Spain. As was the case last year, 68 per cent of trade visitors came from abroad. There was an increased number of visitors from Italy, Spain, Sweden, Russia, Japan and South Korea in particular at Heimtextil 2016. ‘There is no other comparable trade fair that is so international in nature. After all, the majority of our turnover is achieved abroad’, explains Erich Hansmann-Lewis from the design studio Desmond Lewis, which has exhibited at Heimtextil for the past 30 years. For Arte, a supplier of wall coverings and home textiles, Heimtextil is essential for international business: “We enjoyed four strong days at the trade fair! We use Heimtextil to meet with our international customers and offer them a platform at the trade fair. Heimtextil is very international: the whole world is here, from the Middle East and the USA to China and Russia. It is the most important trade fair for the wallpaper industry. We will definitely be here again next year’, states Stiijn Vergaelen, Sales Manager International at Arte.

However, it is not just the visitors, but also the exhibitors that form a microcosm of a global industry. 89 per cent of exhibitors (2015: 88 per cent) come from abroad. This year’s Heimtextil saw a growth in exhibitors from Europe, in particular Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey, as well as international exhibitors from many other countries, including Brazil and the USA.

Décor and upholstery materials – a convincing concept
In terms of products, Heimtextil was able to considerably expand its portfolio in various segments. For the fast-growing segment of décor and upholstery materials, hall 4.0 was even equipped with a new, additional hall level, where primarily high-quality exhibitors from Italy showcased their wares. Enzo Degli Anguioni is one of the companies that took advantage of the extended exhibition space to return to Heimtextil. ‘We have been exhibiting at Heimtextil for almost 30 years’, says owner Enzo Anguioni. ‘Following a break in the middle, we have come back for the first time this year because the concept won us over. From textile printing to the finished product for home, every industry is represented at Heimtextil. For us, Heimtextil 2016 was worth our while. We met many regular and new customers’.

‘We have returned to Heimtextil after several years’ break because it is the optimal platform in Europe to showcase the latest trends in the market’, says Thomas Luys, Sales Manager at the Belgian company Libeco. And Turkish returnee Penelope Dokuma is similarly happy. ‘After a four-year break, we are once again exhibiting at Heimtextil this year. We are very happy with the result and will be back next year. We were able to intensify contacts with existing customers and expect 2016 to see a stabilisation in the market for home textiles’, predicts Gözde Yildiz from Penelope Dokuma.

Digital printing – innovation and trend
Textile digital printing with all the market leaders such as Epson, Hewlett Packard, Kornit, Mimaki and Zimmer was also considerably expanded in comparison to last year. ‘We’re happy that Messe Frankfurt has recognised digital printing as a trend and made it a fixed component of its textile trade fairs’, praises Oliver Lüdtke, Director, Marketing EMEA at Kornit Digital Europe. ‘Heimtextil has been a fixed date in our trade fair calendar for three years now. This is where we tap into new markets, meet important decision-makers and consolidate our long-standing customer relationships’. At Hewlett Packard they are proud to have laid the foundation stone for a growing trend segment together with Heimtextil. ‘Hewlett Packard has been exhibiting at Heimtextil for five years. With our offer of large format prints for the textile market, we were a pioneer at Heimtextil back then. Today, suppliers of digital printing solutions almost fill an entire hall. A trend has emerged from what used to be a product that required a lot of explanation’, says Ana de Cospedal, Hewlett Packard EMEA Marketing Manager Large Format Printing Process. Stuart Kugler, Director of Marketing at Zimmer Maschinenbau, sings the praises of the trade fair: ‘Heimtextil is, as ever, very well organised. The concept is right and contacts are of high quality. As a supplier of digital printing solutions for the textile market, we complement the range of industries at Heimtextil by offering a technical perspective. Lots of new ideas arise from our discussions with other exhibitors, many of whom are our customers’.

Mattresses: target group reached
The product group “bed” with bed linen, bedding, covers, decorative pillows and mattresses was also expanded. The increase in mattress manufacturers in particular, such as Rössle & Wanner and f.a.n. Frankenstolz, who were both exhibiting at Heimtextil again after several years’ absence, was warmly received by trade visitors. Manfred Greiner, Managing Partner at Rössle & Wanner confirms: ‘We had a good trade fair and are happy with the feedback from our visitors at Heimtextil. The special exhibition format was very well received by our visitors. The networking party with live music also suited the trade fair concept very well and ensured a high visitor frequency. Visitor frequency was particularly high on Wednesday and Thursday. We welcomed numerous visitors to our display, in particular from the bed industry, which means that we managed to meet the target group we wanted to reach’.

Eberhard Künstler, Managing Director of f.a.n. Frankenstolz, was also very happy and praised many things, including the new schedule: ‘The decision to change the schedule was a good one. Otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to take part. It was a good trade fair for us. So much happened on Wednesday and Thursday that at times that we didn’t have enough tables at our stand. Top purchasers from major companies were among the visitors to our stand’.

Premium suppliers appeal with high-quality concepts
Many exhibitors in the premium sector for bed, bath and table in hall 11 were also positive about the new schedule and cited the increasing quality of this segment’s offer. ‘We welcome the new schedule’, says Cornelia Loos, CCO at Ezzenza, emphasising that ‘the environment in all the halls is of particularly high quality in comparison to last year. Everyone has made considerably more effort, which means hall 11.0 no longer has any run-of-the-mill stand concepts anymore. We want to inspire our customers with overall concepts and this is something that is perceived and valued by our customers. All in all, we are satisfied and the ambience was excellent’. Thomas Overesch, Managing Director and Designer at Thomas Overesch Berlin, has been an exhibitor in the luxury segment at Heimtextil since 2015. ‘We presented our new linen Alpaca collection and a new cushion line. We’re happy with the business generated so far. We generally target a very specific audience in the luxury segment and we get to meet them in hall 11.0. Around 70 per cent of our enquiries and orders come from international clients. China is also becoming increasingly interesting’.

Jessica Schwarz, Nena, Guido Maria Kretschmer, Barbara Becker
The glamour factor was once again a major element in 2016. Actress and hotel owner Jessica Schwarz was an honorary guest at the opening press conference on Tuesday, informing the public that she intends to expand her hotel in the Odenwald town of Michelstadt. On Thursday she took the opportunity to go on a purchasing tour through the halls for this very purpose. ‘At Heimtextil, you can find materials and designs from various countries, see them right away, touch them and be inspired by them. Coming here is an absolute must for fans of interior design and interior designers’, states Jessica Schwarz.

Also present on Tuesday was musician and artist Nena, who presented her new wallpaper collection at the Marburger Tapetenfabrik stand and rocked the house in the evening in front of an audience of invited guests.  Ullrich Eitel, CEO of Marburger Tapetenfabrik, was inspired: ‘The collection by Nena was the main focus of our trade fair presence. And Nena herself was of course the absolute highlight. Heimtextil offered the perfect platform for this. We could experience Nena because the affinity to wallpaper was there. We’ve put Nena’s signature on the wallpaper. The Nena collection was very well received by our customers and we had the perfect start to 2016 here. The fringe event with Nena, i.e. the presentation at our stand, the interview and, last but not least, the concert in the evening, provided the perfect way to round off our presence. Nena garnered the full support of and inspired enthusiasm in our guests’. On Wednesday, it was star designer Guido Maria Kretschmer’s turn to be honoured in the Frankfurt trade fair halls. At the P+S International stand, he presented his wallpaper collection “Fashion for Walls” and was pleased about being there: ‘For me, Heimtextil is an excellent trade fair because it’s all about interiors and materials. It’s great to see the world coming together here and people bringing new looks and how everything is organised’. The celebrity guests’ visits were completed on Thursday by regular trade fair visitor Barbara Becker at Kleine Wolke.

Celebrity guests were without doubt one draw of the trade fair. Another highlight was once again the “Theme Park” where trade visitors could see bold designs and hot trends. This spectacular trend area at Heimtextil, which was given its own hall for the first time this year, proved to be a magnet for all those seeking inspiration and an overview of global trends. The Theme Park explored and depicted these trends in a vivid way in the form of a Trendtable created by six internationally renowned design studios. The theme of the 2016 Theme Park was “Well-Being 4.0”. The American agency WGSN was responsible for implementing the trends at the trade fair and creating the Trendbook.

More exhibitor comments

Kathleen Schirrmacher, assistant to the Marketing & Sales Managers at Pickhardt+Siebert GmbH: ‘We’re very happy. Our stand was full right from the start. We got great feedback, especially for our collection with Guido Maria Kretschmer. In that respect, we’re offering completely different patterns and our customers ordered them there and then because they could see the added value for the end consumer and know that the collection will be very well received by them. The atmosphere at the stand was positive and we believe that in following this approach, we’re helping the industry as a whole to move forward’.

Annicq Boghaert, Sales Manager Germany + NL, Belgium Arte N.V.: ‘On Wednesday, we sold as much as we did last year throughout the entire trade fair. There was a good atmosphere amongst the German customers. They were focused on the products and business. We presented six new collections at Heimtextil. They were all well received by customers. Overall, it was a good way to start the season!’

Andreas Zimmermann, Member of Executive Management / Global Sales, Zimmer + Rohde GmbH: ‘For us, the trade fair was very positive. We acquired lots of new international customers and we also got good results insofar as the acquisition of new customers was concerned. Our existing customers were also of course there. We’re very happy with both the amount and quality of visitors. This year, we welcomed considerably more visitors from the Middle East to our stand. The focus of our presentation was our new wallpaper collection’.

Kara Meikle, Showroom & Design Manager, Phillip Jeffries Ltd.: ‘Heimtextil is a brilliant networking event. We came back to Heimtextil this year for the first time in 13 years and are very happy. We found lots of new business partners and had discussions with existing ones. Heimtextil is superb for international branding. Our aim was to continue establishing our international brand. We met several international distributors and were pleased to meet so many business partners in person who we otherwise would only have in been contact via email or telephone’.

Norman Halard, Managing Director, Nobilis S.A.: ‘We made good contacts here at Heimtextil. Above all, we were able to meet several international customers, particularly those from the Middle East and India. We established new partnerships and intensified the old ones. In 2016, we presented our new wallpaper collection here for the first time and we’re now planning to come back every year’.

Katharina Geilfuß, Managing partner at GEOS-Geilfuß GmbH: ‘We exhibited at Heimtextil for the first time and the trade fair was very positive for us. We had a good mix of visitors at the stand, both German and international’.

Maximilian F. Baumann, Director Sales & Marketing, Baumann Dekor GmbH: ‘We had a great trade fair and there were lots of good contacts, in terms of both quality and quantity. It was also a good trade fair from an international perspective. At our stand, around 30 per cent of visitors were from Germany, 70 per cent from elsewhere. The atmosphere among the trade visitors was very good’.

Grupo BC FABRICS S. L.: ‘Our collection was very well received by visitors. At Heimtextil, we met many regular customers and numerous new customers. To schedule the trade fair only on normal working days was something trade visitors appreciated very much. We’ll definitely be there again next year’.

Luciana Alvisi, Architetto, Alvisi e Alvisi : ‘We’ve been exhibiting at Heimtextil for around 20 years now and will also be at Intertextile in Shanghai in August for the first time this year. For us, Heimtextil is the most important platform for presenting our products and we’ll definitely be back again next year. Unfortunately, we experienced a clear reticence amongst visitors placing orders. We think this may be something to do with the current global political situation’.

Erich Hansmann-Lewis, Atelier Desmond Lewis GmbH: ‘As always, Heimtextil 2016 was superbly organised. We’ve been here ever since the design sector was established almost 30 years ago. Of the five trade fairs that we’re exhibiting at this year, Heimtextil is the most important for us. No other comparable trade fair is as international as this one. After all, the majority of our turnover is achieved abroad. This year, we had several interested parties from China, mainly wallpaper manufacturers and wholesalers. Although I miss the daylight and sun during the long days of the trade fair, I love looking at our customers’ faces. Their smiles light up my day’.

Markus Ehrlich, Manager Corporate Communication, MHZ Hatchtel GmbH & Co. KG: ‘The new schedule was great for the set-up process. Some in the industry didn’t see it that way. But the new arrangements were necessary and it’ll settle down after a few shows. This time, we focused more on digital media for our stand concept and our app was very well received. The feeling among German visitors has been good so far but a bit more restrained from international visitors. Our trade fair experience has been very positive after a very successful Wednesday’.

Luca Segat, Export Manager, Mottura S.p.A.: ‘Around 40 per cent of our customers came from Germany and 60 per cent were international, including from the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and India. They come with the intention of buying and they get straight to the point’.

Jens Niermeyer, Communications Director, Lienesch bv: ‘We’re pleased and happy to be here. We’re particularly pleased about the division of the hall into manufacturers and upstream suppliers like us. The division is excellent. Interior decorators can find everything they need at a glance and we all benefit from it. At our stand, we meet up to 99 per cent existing customers and we’re also here to intensify that contact. We’ve noticed more international visitors here. This year it’s much better overall as well; there are more competitors and this attracts more customers. The atmosphere at the start of the year is always good. In Europe, everything’s a bit more cautious at the moment because of the current political situation and social uncertainties. This always has an effect on the purchasing behaviour of consumers’.

Tomas Aspenskog, Managing Director, Grand Design : ‘This year was our third time exhibiting at Heimtextil and we presented our collection with a classic Scandinavian design. We adapt classics from the fashion segment to suit our home collections. The products are made in Europe and some are also GOTS-certified. We were able to generate several contacts at the trade fair. We also met new and returning customers and received some concrete orders. The purchasers at the stand were mainly from Scandinavia, the UK and Germany, as well as further afield’.

Shahjada Rubel, General Manager Marketing, ACS Towel : ‘We are happy with the customers we are getting here. People like our designs and products and we have expanded our stand since the last show. This is the right place to meet your customers and intensify the relationship in person, all in one place’.

Kabir Singh, owner of The Shop : ‘We were delighted with our first experience at Heimtextil. We found the right customers for our business and got many enquiries and orders. The Messe Frankfurt team was most helpful and we will certainly be back next year’.

Raheel Saify, General Manager Marketing, Al-Karam Textiles Mills : ‘It has been very busy and everybody was there. We sold every single piece in our collection at least two or three times. There was a particularly high demand for digitally printed products. All in all it was very satisfactory for us’.

Iqbal Ebrahim, CEO, Orient Textile Mills : ‘Coming here was definitely worth it. Meeting customers in person, seeing their faces and interacting with them is the most important thing. This is the place to make business contacts and friends. We see that customers who came last year and bought a little are coming back to order more, which is fantastic. They appreciate our unique designs and customer service. The show has exceeded our expectations’.

Jan Alt, Art Director, Zoeppritz GmbH: ‘The quality of trade visitors and the flow of visitors have been very good and we’re also happy with the international aspect. This is the first time in six years we’ve exhibited here at Heimtextil. We already have contacts with major companies and are here mainly to cultivate customer relationships. After all, we’ve been in existence since 1828. There are few comparable trade fairs that have the same format as Heimtextil. We will definitely come back next year’.

Saara Toivonen, Account Coordinator, Finlayson : ‘We are really glad we came to Heimtextil and are very satisfied with the whole experience. As Heimtextil is the largest home textile fair, taking part increases our brand visibility and enables us to meet with our existing and potential new licensing partners as well as customers. We are pleased that people have been responding very well to our stand concept. Although Finlayson is a company that’s almost 200 years old, we especially like to experiment and show something unforgettable to our trade fair visitors, such as incorporating moss in the design and bringing a touch of Finland to the trade fair. This year, we wanted to present Finlayson designs by the Finnish artist and writer, Hannu Väisänen. We are happy to have his unique art on our textiles’.

Stephan Piters, Director, Ekkelboom : ‘We think the new schedule is much better than before; you can meet a lot more trade visitors on the last day than before. The international mix is really very high and that’s why we’re here. We have a huge stack of business cards with new contacts from across the world, from the USA to Russia, that we’ll follow up after the trade fair. The atmosphere among the visitors is, as always, very positive!’

Dr Thomas Wagner, Partner und Managing Director, Hermann Pichler : ‘The new schedule is bound to settle down and be accepted in time. We think it’s great! The international mix was a bit higher than usual: we had visitors from Eastern Europe, Poland and even Greece at the stand. The situation in the tableware segment has slowed down a bit overall. This has individual effects on customers. Despite this, the atmosphere at the trade fair was good. We celebrated our 150 th anniversary and launched a collection at the trade fair that was well received’.

Severino Graziano, Managing Director, Fratelli Graziano : ‘We exhibited at Heimtextil for the 40 th time and had a good trade fair. In general, Heimtextil is our top trade fair. We conducted some great business with Asian and also American customers. We had some very, very good customers at the stand from Taiwan and Korea, but China appears to be a bit more cautious. We’re starting the new season with optimism. I think the fact that the trade fair timing has been moved forward by a day is fantastic. It’s very important for us’.

The next Heimtextil, international trade fair for home and contract textiles, will take place from 10-13 January 2017 in Frankfurt am Main.

More information about Heimtextil can be found at:

Information about Messe Frankfurt’s global trade fairs can be found at:

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is one of the world’s leading trade fair organisers, generating around €645* million in sales and employing 2,297* people. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 29 subsidiaries and 57 international Sales Partners, allowing it to serve its customers on location in more than 160 countries. Messe Frankfurt events take place at more than 40 locations around the globe. In 2015, Messe Frankfurt organised a total of 132* trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany.

Comprising an area of 592,127 square metres, Messe Frankfurt’s exhibition grounds are home to ten exhibition halls. The company also operates two congress centres. The historic Festhalle, one of the most popular venues in Germany, plays host to events of all kinds. Messe Frankfurt is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 per cent and the State of Hesse 40 per cent.

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* preliminary figures (2015)