Buyers report satisfaction at Intertextile Shanghai
Exhibitors and buyers praised effectiveness of largest ever Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles Fair, which was held in August
Taking place for the first time at the National Exhibition and Convention Center, Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles – Autumn Edition concluded August 28 on a high note as exhibitors and buyers praised the 2015 edition as one of the most successful yet. The fair was the biggest in its 21-year history in terms of exhibitors, with 1,402 exhibitors from 30 countries and regions up on the 1,334 recorded in 2014, while the visitor figure edged down slightly to 42,048 (97 countries and regions) from 43,189 (94 countries and regions) last year. The new venue, as well as increased demand to participate, ensured the fair was the largest to date, taking place across 170,520 sqm (2014: 150,400).
Ms Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, outlining the reason for the drop in visitor numbers, said: “The small decrease in visitors this year can be put down to the current economic situation in China and the flow on effect this has had on the textile market. However, most overseas exhibitors explained to us that the market situation hadn’t, and wouldn’t, affect their sales in the region, and that the demand for overseas products in China still remained strong. What’s more, many participants reported to us that they were satisfied with the amount of genuine buyers they received to their booths, while they were also pleased that the right type of buyers were visiting them. Those that were in product zones, such as the Intertextile Design Boutique and Whole-Home Style & Digital Printing Zones, also benefited as these areas attracted more of their target buyers.”First-time exhibitors received validation of Chinese market potential
Another pleasing aspect for the organisers was the number of new exhibiting countries, first-time exhibitors as well as participation from countries after an absence in recent years. “This year we had our first participation from Moldovan and UAE exhibitors, while exhibitors from Iran, Malaysia, New Zealand and Russia returned to the fair again which shows the strong attraction of the Chinese and Asian home textiles markets at present,” Ms Wen explained.
One new exhibitor was Tirotex from Moldova which featured luxury bedding and table linen made of pure cotton. “We thought our products would be in high demand here and it was confirmed at this fair that they are,” Mr Denis Vasilenkov said. “There is potential in this market as Chinese buyers are looking for branded, high-quality products, so next year we will come back for sure with a bigger booth and a special thematic design.” Grilo Kitchenware from Portugal, which exhibited under Associacao Home from Portugal, was another first-time participant. “We came here to present our new brand to Chinese and Korean buyers, and we’ve had these buyers visit our booth. We target the high-end of the market and we’ve met many retailers from this segment,” Mr José Grilo outlined. He continued: “We haven’t noticed any impact from the economic situation. People here still have money and we’re not in the mass market, we’re in the premium range, so we haven’t been impacted.”Exhibitors expressed satisfaction with buyer quality and range
For many exhibitors at the fair, what was most pleasing for them was the range and quality of these visitors. Korean curtain, upholstery, wallcovering and bedding supplier Decorama have participated at Intertextile Shanghai since 2010, and were targeting the high-end market this year. “We’re completely satisfied with the overall result because there were so many high-end buyers visiting our booth, and a lot were new contacts too. Around half were Chinese and half from overseas,” Mr Thomas Jeong, VP – Sales & Marketing explained. “Nowadays, Chinese buyers’ purchasing ability is very similar to Europe, and many of them even placed big volume orders on the spot.”
Debut exhibitor Gustav Gerster from Germany, supplier of curtain accessories, had a similar experience. “We were very pleased to see the strong visitor flow as well as the quality of buyers,” Mr Matthias Engel, Area Manager Export said. “Around 40% of buyers were from overseas, and many potential and serious buyers came to our booth. We made numerous new contacts and got a good amount of orders, so this fair is a great platform for us to expand our China and Asian markets.”
Chinese exhibitors were also content with the quality and range of buyers. “We’ve met many genuine customers during the fair, especially overseas buyers from Europe, Egypt, Thailand, Singapore and Japan,” Mr Song Hu, R&D Department Manager of Shanghai Sunvim Hometextile said. Other Chinese exhibitors, including those distributing premium overseas brands, were happy their target buyers attended the fair, including Dream Fly Fabric which is an agent for high-end European upholstery fabric brands. Mr Chandler Chen, Sales Manager explained: “The key reason for us to join this show is because it has many high-end buyers visiting, and these premium brands are appealing to the Chinese market.” Ms Zhang Ni from Prestigious Textiles (Shanghai), which was showcasing the British editor brand Pt, concurred. “A lot of buyers came to our booth, including retailers and design studios. This fair and Heimtextil Frankfurt have always been the most effective platforms to establish our brands in global markets.”Product zones attracted exhibitor’s target buyers
Over recent years, Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles has expanded to cover the entire home textile product spectrum, with special zones created in areas that are particularly popular in the domestic market to assist overseas exhibitors. Two new areas created this year were the Digital Printing and Whole-Home Style Zones. Shanghai Signstar Digital Technology participated in the former, with Marketing Manager Ms Lucy Liu explaining: “Being in the Digital Printing Zone is beneficial to us, as it directed the right buyers to our booth. Plus, we’re right next to the Intertextile Design Boutique which increases the awareness from designers and manufacturers. This fair attracted our target buyers from both China and overseas, and the visitor flow remained strong throughout the fair period with many buyers showing strong interest in our machines.”
Home Sweet Home from Turkey was a first-time exhibitor who were located adjacent to the Digital Printing Zone and Intertextile Design Boutique with their digital-printed textiles. “We’ve been very busy these three days. The result is better than expected, so I think we are in the right area to promote our brand,” Mr Cem Aras said.
The other new area was the Whole-Home Style Zone which featured exhibitors with multiple products displayed in a real-world setting. Chinese company Lezai Dongfang Culture participated in this zone, and Mr Jake Ji, General Manager explained: “Being in this zone is a big advantage as it attracts our target buyers to our booth. It has only been one and a half days, but we have already received so many enquiries from China’s top designers, buying offices and agents, and many of them have actually placed orders.”
A returning favourite to the fair was the Intertextile Design Boutique which featured 22 design studios from 10 countries and regions. This zone is where original service designs and artwork for fabric and product development could be sourced, and was packed with buyers for most of the three days. “We have met many Chinese customers,” Mr Tristan Goodfellow from Diane Harrison Designs, UK said. “I have received good feedback from the fair so I will return next year.”
Strong potential for overseas brands remains despite slower economy
The fair took place in the midst of a turbulent time for the Chinese stock market, however most exhibitors remained optimistic the overall economic situation would not affect their business, while there was also general agreement about the continued demand in the Chinese market for overseas brands. Regular Danish duvet and pillow exhibitor Dykon A/S has a good handle on the market having been in China for over 10 years. “When we first started, the market was only demanding really high-end products, but what we see now is while high-end products are still in demand, the majority of orders are for mid-range products,” Export Manager Mr Kenneth J. Sorensen explained. He continued: “I think the Chinese market will continue to develop and grow bigger and better. The slow economy has not affected our business too much, and our Chinese business has been pretty stable over the past few years.” Fellow European supplier Mundotextil from Portugal, producer of premium bedding and towelling, also benefited from the overseas brand recognition. “The European brand image and quality are popular here in China,” Ms Marta Santos, Blank Home Sales & Brand Manager said.
Japanese firm Toyobo reported that their functional fabrics were in high demand in China recently, with Mr Keiji Sugano from the Apparel / Living Material Department adding: “The Chinese market is quite positive as people are getting wealthier and have a stronger desire to increase their living standard. They are seeking better quality products like our functional home textiles to improve their lifestyle. Therefore, we are very optimistic about the Chinese market.” One of the best indicators of the current economic situation is orders being placed, with Mr Wei Sun from Yueda Textile Group, one of China’s largest textile producers, explaining: “There were more branded companies coming to our booth this year, while more buyers have the intention to place orders than last year too.”
High satisfaction levels recorded among buyers
This year’s top 10 visitor countries & regions (excluding Mainland China) were Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Russia, USA, Hong Kong, Iran, Turkey, UAE and India. Surveys conducted onsite revealed a high level of satisfaction in terms of overseas visitors achieving their objectives: 90% were satisfied or very satisfied with their ability to source products, while 87% and 91% of respondents, respectively, achieved their objective of making new contacts and maintaining existing contacts.
Both statistically and anecdotally visitors were also happy with the standard of suppliers at the fair, with 95% being satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of domestic and overseas exhibitors. American buyer Mr Bob Greenfield, CEO of Magitex Décor elaborated: “We have found good quality products here, in fact, the quality has always been good at this fair. I meet with existing suppliers here, but every time I come I can always find two or three new ones as well.”
Other buyers appreciated the wide range of products on offer. “The range you have on offer here is why we keep coming back,” explained Mr Ceki Altaras from Turkish firm Lotus. “And here we actually place orders too, unlike at other fairs we attend.” Mr Deepak Nishar from Sarom Fab in India agreed. “I met many potential suppliers here. There is a wide range of exhibitors and products and they are all at a good price. I have also discovered trends and new ideas that I can bring back.”
Mr Nishar also appreciated the product zones. “The product zones in the international and domestic halls make my trip more efficient as I could easily locate my target products and suppliers.” Mr Hari Rao from American company Weavesource had the same experience. “The products and suppliers here are divided by categories and countries, which makes things more efficient. What’s more, I’ve met some high quality potential suppliers here so I’m satisfied with the exhibitor quality.”
Revamped fringe programme provided more opportunities for exhibitors
This year’s fringe programme received a makeover to ensure its design and trend elements further reflected the changing lifestyle trends in the Chinese market. The revamp also provided exhibitors with more opportunities to promote their brand, meet potential buyers and learn about the market’s needs. This was particularly true for the DREAM UP! 8x8 Intertextile Trend Concept Show which featured special displays designed by China’s leading interior designers made from eight exhibiting brands’ products including LaCanTouch, Brilliant & Refined, Designers Guild, Uniwal, Jean Paul Gaultier, Pt, DEDAR and JAB Anstoetz. Mr Shen Lei, the curator of this project, explained the benefit for the participating exhibitors. “The Trend Concept Show attracted the attention of hundreds of China’s top interior designers, many of whom were looking to work with overseas brands, providing unrivalled promotion for these companies to their target buyers which was our main reason for creating this show.”
Designers Guild also presented their new collection to buyers in a separate presentation. “Participating in this was a fantastic opportunity,” Mr Jerome Avenel, Export Sales Manager explained. “It was great to see our products featured in a very different and creative way, and the results were impressive. The growing interest that we can see here for our brands and products really shows a potential that is getting more and more important.”
Digital printing exhibitor Shanghai Signstar Digital Technology participated in a brand sharing session to present their technology to the market. Ms Lucy Liu said: “We regard Intertextile Shanghai as a really desirable platform where we can meet exhibitors and visitors from the whole industry chain. The fair helps us to learn the new requirement of clients and make changes on our products and strategies quickly.”
Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles – Autumn Edition is organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd; the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; and the China Home Textile Association. The next Autumn Edition will take place from 24 – 26 August 2016, while the Spring Edition returns next year as well from 16 – 18 March 2016. Both fairs will be held at the same venue.
To find out more about this event and other upcoming home textile fairs, please visit: www.intertextilehome.com. For more information about Messe Frankfurt textile fairs worldwide, please visit: http://texpertise-network.messefrankfurt.com.
Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is one of the world’s leading trade fair organisers, generating around €554 million in sales and employing 2,130 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 30 locations around the globe. In 2014, Messe Frankfurt organised a total of 121 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 percent and the State of Hesse 40 per cent.
For more information, please visit our website at www.messefrankfurt.com.