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Video: Half-century Leading Fair
The current wallpaper collections express yearnings - for nature and exoticism, for peace and security, for distant worlds and past eras, for glamor, elegance and extravagance. With the new wall coverings, everyone can create their own ideal world.
Author: Bärbel Bosch
The 50th edition of Heimtextil provided impulses for the start of the new furnishing season. Sustainability became a top topic that outshines everything. 63,000 visitors came to the 2,952 exhibitors at the world's leading trade fair for home and contract textiles to find out about the major issues in the international industry. The uniquely early appointment caused a drop in visitors. In 2019 there were 67,216 visitors (including Preview Day) and 3,012 exhibitors (FKM count, Society for Voluntary Control of Trade Fair and Exhibition Numbers, Berlin). “The industry is currently facing immense challenges. Some of those involved felt this at Heimtextil. In addition to the early appointment, the reasons for the dampening in visitor numbers are primarily the strong consolidation of specialist shops and the development from brick-and-mortar retail to e-commerce. The trend has also weakened in economic terms,”explains Detlef Braun, Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt. "It is fitting that as many as 34 percent of our exhibitors rate the current sector economy as bad, compared to just 18 percent in the previous year."
The decline in exhibitors was particularly noticeable in the wallpaper hall. A lot of free space was visible. While 155 wallcovering companies showed their innovations at the 2019 trade show, there are only 126 this year. AS Création, Germany's only listed wallpaper manufacturer, is missing. The company justified the decision to expand its communication directly with the end consumer.
Despite the purchasing power, sales in the wallpaper industry continue to fall. According to an estimate by the German Wallpaper Institute, revenue fell to around 260 million euros in 2019. The previous year it was 271 million euros and in 2017 290 million euros. The managing director of the German Wallpaper Institute, Karsten Brandt, attributes the situation in the industry to the declining interest of many consumers in interior design. Low unemployment and high incomes caused people to “wander outside” from their homes, said Karsten Brandt and further: If people were economically worse off, they would rather be drawn into their own four walls. "When we had an economic crisis, we had a better economy," said Ullrich Eitel, managing director of the Marburger Tapetenfabrik. The booth at Heimtextil is decorated with LED lights embedded in wallpaper. According to Eitel, the luminous wall covering is "a niche product, but with which we bring our competence and innovation to the fore". The interest in wallpaper “Made in Germany” is also declining abroad. According to the Cologne Institute for Trade Research (IFH), manufacturers' exports are currently five to six percent lower than in the previous year. International business accounts for around 60 percent of sales at the Marburger Tapetenfabrik. According to the Cologne Institute for Trade Research (IFH), manufacturers' exports are currently five to six percent lower than in the previous year. International business accounts for around 60 percent of sales at the Marburger Tapetenfabrik. According to the Cologne Institute for Trade Research (IFH), manufacturers' exports are currently five to six percent lower than in the previous year. International business accounts for around 60 percent of sales at the Marburger Tapetenfabrik.
According to Brandt, the domestic market also has a structural problem. Between hardware stores and high-quality interior decorators there are fewer and fewer specialty stores for wallpaper. The trend for new-build apartments does the rest: "Large glass surfaces, no textiles, no colors, no patterns." The German Wallpaper Institute sees growth opportunities for specialist providers of high-quality products or for digital printing with customizable wallpapers. New techniques, such as those shown by the Marburg wallpaper factory, are also a good way. The wallpaper as a “lifestyle product” can be sold well via Instagram or decoration shops, says Karsten Brandt. In order to counteract the low, the industry has teamed up with the “Wallpaper Action Forum”. Suppliers, industry, trade and craft want to pull together.40 industry participants launched the marketing campaign "Germany papered". The aim is to make you fancy wallpaper and to inform about the advantages of the trendy wall covering.
“Heimtextil is a trend show, market barometer and industry get-together - and as a platform it cannot be replaced by anything. We welcome the fact that the fair has continuously developed in recent years and offers new offers and concepts. However, the significant decline in the number of trade visitors and in the wallpaper hall also among the exhibitors is causing discussion - how can the fair be made more attractive again? We had many encouraging discussions about “Germany papered” at the fair and were also able to gain new partners. Now it is also up to the partners to make full use of their advertising opportunities during the wallpaper weeks and to give the wallpaper the attention it deserves from consumers again,”Ulrike Reich, Wallpaper Forum c / o Deutsches Tapeten-Institut GmbH, Marketing and PR.
Arma Radomski, Managing Director of Berlintapete, sees the future of traditional wallpaper publishers quite bleakly. "The digital revolution has long since reached the wallpaper industry, the effects of which can be seen in the example of the reduction in wallpaper manufacturers. The time of monolithic wallpaper publishers is over, the wallpaper industry did not understand how to meet the new digital possibilities of individualization. As managing director, I can document that product customization has long since reached the wallpaper industry on the basis of countless projects. There is a technological paradigm shift in the wallpaper industry. It seems to me rather doubtful whether a joint campaign by today's market giants will bring the wallpaper to the consumer.”
The forests in the Amazon and Australia are burning, our oceans are drowning in plastic waste, the prophecies for our future look bleak. Maybe that's why the current wall coverings invite you to dream. There are countless jungle motifs to be seen this year too. Animals like tigers, toucans, parrots and monkeys greet you. Carp swim along the wall (AS Création, Erismann, Komar, Rasch). Furthermore, it glimmers, shimmers and shines, or delicate Asian motifs enchant the viewer. With their motifs, patterns and colors, many a collection is reminiscent of past glorious times. In contrast, there are wallpapers made of natural materials. "The increasing urbanization and uprooting of humans requires a timely response with new, natural spatial concepts: organoid natural surfaces",says Christoph Egger, founder & managing director of Organoid). Worthy of special mention are artistically handmade wallpapers such as those from Welter, Marburg (Horus), Grandeco and Omexco.
With "Where I belong" Heimtextil sets the motto for the new trend season 20/21. Identity is the omnipresent theme in this year's trend forecast and the trade fair is presenting various trend worlds such as "Maximum Glam", which combines glamor with the fascination of technology, expressive, eccentric, surreal and underlined by a bright color palette such as leaf green, violet, petrol, neon pink. The patterns are inspired by pop culture. "Pure Spiritual" combines nature and mysticism. The focus is on materials that show traces, organic structures and irregularities in nature. The colors of this trend theme come from the earth. “Heritage Lux”, on the other hand, celebrates history and tradition, an interest in the past and a longing for magic. It's the love of luxury and splendorDecoration and beautification. Her interest in earlier epochs leads to a color palette of rich blood red, dark rust, sensual sapphire and iridescent mother-of-pearl.
The main theme of the fair shows that there cannot be one suitable concept for everyone. This is also underlined by the wallpaper trends presented by the German Wallpaper Institute and the wallpaper manufacturer Erismann
Welcome to the jungle: Colorful collections transform our rooms into exotic jungles and let us immerse ourselves in another world. Parrots, tropical leaves, bright colors and ethnic patterns adorn the new, young wallpapers. If you do not like it that wild, you will find filigree, even patterns, for example in warm red tones. The trend is mystical with oriental-looking flora in light pastel colors or even more reduced in black and white optics. So you can quickly and easily bring Indonesian island life, Amazonian atmosphere or Japanese flair home.
Classic, modern, elegant: wallpapers with constructive, contrasting shapes or in elegant tones such as rose or anthracite with a little gold look modern and elegant. A touch of retro brings large, dynamic motifs. In harmonious, dark and metallic color gradients, they provide glamor in your own four walls.
Out of the ordinary
Artistic forms and motifs do not appear on the wall as paintings, but as wallpaper. Patinated structures with effective matt and gloss surfaces as well as optical and haptic extravagance ensure real wow experiences. Unique wallpaper with an oxidized iron surface, wall paintings or extravagant predator motifs with noble applications.
The colder the world is outside, the greater our need for harmony and a reliable basis. Wallpapers with subtle patterns or in reserved colors are a must for anyone who wants to withdraw and arrive at home. The topic of harmony can be interpreted individually. For some, it is clear, geographic patterns in subtle shades of gray that underline the puristic interior style. For the other filigree floral decorations in fresh shades of green bring the necessary lightness and light-heartedness into everyday life. Because the more we estrange ourselves from nature, the greater the desire to bring it home. There is a desire for deceleration, more naturalness, awareness and clarity. Handicraft and honest materials play an important role in this new lifestyle.
The new designs express our longings and their composition leaves plenty of room for individuality and creativity: nature, distant worlds, past eras - with wallpapers we create our own intact world. Earth, sand and natural tones remain hip, and there are also exciting blue-green combinations.
Review and preview
“50 issues over the course of five decades are a rarely experienced phenomenon in fast-paced, worldwide trade fairs and mean sheer eternity,” says Detlef Braun. "Like hardly any other trade fair, Heimtextil stands for product diversity, international size and undisputed market leadership in the textile sector. As a design show, it keeps reinventing itself, presenting the state-of-the-art in terms of living trends today and then, and making it possible to experience the furnishings of tomorrow.”
Adrian Smaza, Head of Sales and Marketing Germany, Austria, Switzerland at nmc Deutschland GmbH emphasizes the importance of the fair: “Heimtextil has been the trend fair for decorative products and home textiles for 50 years. As an exhibitor, we are happy to be part of this traditional fair. Because we appreciate personal customer contact despite the digital age. We hope for good ideas in the future to increase visitor interest in Heimtextil again.”
Dietmar Böttger, Sales Manager at PUFAS Werk KG, remains true to Heimtextil: “Right at the beginning of the year, Heimtextil offers us the opportunity to present our current product range and to exchange ideas with customers and interested parties about new trends. Heimtextil has been an integral part of our trade fair schedule for decades and has brought us many interesting contacts even in its 50th year. We will be happy to be an exhibitor again next year.”
The Managing Director Marketing / Sales Erismann, Dietmar Everding, comments on the mood in the industry: “Heimtextil is and remains the most important forum of its kind. Due to the positive sales development at home and abroad, it was logical that we exhibited this year. All important customers have visited us and our new collections have been rated very well. However, the declining number of visitors and exhibitors has to be reassessed. We will make our renewed participation next year dependent on which German competitors will participate. I don't think the solution is to have every manufacturer plan their own event in the future. That is definitely not in the interest of our customers."
Constance Wingender, Communication, Marburger Tapetenfabrik, praises the trade fair for her commitment: “The people in charge of Heimtextil are there for the exhibitors and have an open ear for all matters. We have experienced this several times and we are pleased that individual issues are addressed constructively and warmly. In addition, Heimtextil offers orientation for the entire industry right at the beginning of the year and should therefore not be underestimated as a guide.”
Overall, it was felt that the industry was cautiously optimistic about the new year. However, one company was more than positive, Tobias Lex, Junior Manager Marketing & Communications, Komar, specializing in digital print wallpapers, explains: "We grow with Heimtextil, this is a very important trade fair for us." Visitors to Heimtextil were actually able to the years observe that the Komar booth got bigger and bigger. Roland Fiala, Key Account Manager, explains the next goal: "We want to get closer to the painter - the painter is an insane multiplacer."
The next Heimtextil will take place from January 12th to 15th, 2021.
Aram Radomski, Managing Director BerlinTapete
The end of traditional wallpaper publishers will come.