Gifts Today magazine

Maison reconfigures Hall 6

Leading design show Maision & Objet Paris continues its layout changes with the unveiling of the new Hall 6, from September 8-12

Held twice a year at the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition centre, Maison & Objet Paris is a major event for lifestyle professionals from all around the world. Spanning nine halls, the trade fair presents a widely comprehensive 360° offering: decor, design, furniture, fashion accessories,
textile, fragrances, children’s world, tableware, high-tech.

In 2015, Hall 6, which houses the Objet Hub, was entirely reconfigured: the offering was broken down into five sectors, complemented by the Retail Space. This is still an ongoing process, needed to reflect the changes currently sweeping the retail business.

As a result, the September 2017 event will mark the unveiling of the new Hall 6: shaped around three major sectors, Cook&Share, Home&Fashion Accessories and Smart Gift, thus unveiling a finer segmentation, bold strategic choices, at-a-glance overview of the offering, all contributing to a renewed retail experience.

Simplified Offering
The results of a broad survey have revealed that Maison & Objet Paris needed to better differentiate the various sectors that made up the Objet Hub – the largest at the fair, encompassing some 1,000 exhibitors in 45,500 sqm (490,000 sq ft), a third of the fair’s total surface area. Considering the potential impact for visitors – in delivering them a more inspiring and stimulating experience – and exhibitors – in helping them reach new markets –, the organisers have decided to entirely redefine the structure of Hall 6.

“The market has evolved and we are now addressing to more open boutiques, less formated, that think in a lifestyle way, and not in objects categories" explains Jean-Luc Colonna d'Istria, founder of the Merci concept-store, who participated in the reconfiguration of Hall 6. Today, end consumers are uber-connected and continually exposed to stimuli,
which is why they are looking for unexpected retail experiences, new propositions and unique products. Retail businesses need to make the right choices to meet
these expectations.

Accessories providing differentiation
A preliminary phase of customer profiling helped identify expectations. For the home market, non-specialised home accessories and children’s accessories shops, interested in home products, and specialised home shops, who also offer matching fashion accessories. For the tableware and kitchen market, specialised retail businesses looking to broaden their offering and non-specialised household appliances retailers interested in selling more affordable products, from small accessories to edibles (gourmet gift).

For the gift market, non-specialised shops wishing to revitalise their concepts with high-tech niche products, and specialised retailers (including bookshop owners) looking for differentiating, high-demand products (including stationery).

The retail business has evolved and the segmentation is now much more fluid than it used to be. Today, most shops carry mixed offerings – for instance, fashion boutiques
selling home accessories, or the other way around. Additionally, shops have also become places where customers can spend time and make new experiences, where stories are told.

The focus has shifted from the products to the customers and the relevant question is no longer “What do I want to sell?”, but “Who do I want to talk to?”. Which is why it has become essential for buyers to make bold choices to boost their businesses. Making bold choices means buying unique products – “gems” –, exactly the kind that they will find in Hall 6.

East-to-read floorplan
In order to make it easier and quicker for visitors to spot those gems, M&O Paris has decided to lead them out of their comfort zone, to push them to set aside their misconceptions and venture off the beaten paths. It was therefore crucial to rethink the circulation plan. Hall 6 was entirely reconfigured, with entrances relocated to encourage visitors to explore new paths and make priceless discoveries.

The organisers have re-segmented the Objet Hub, reducing the number of sectors from five to three. With clear delineations, each tells a different story:

Transition areas for increased visit efficiency

At M&O Paris, every sector holds its share of gems! Marking the entry and exit of every sector, 150-sqm “clearings” give visitors a chance to prepare their visit. With dramatic scenography centring on a symbolic piece, these transition areas provide an overview of the sectors, spotlighting can’t-miss items on display and showing visitors the kind of
discoveries to expect. Each of them also houses a café where visitors can sit and relax, and an area equipped with power outlets where they can charge their phones and laptops.

Finding answers

Relocated to the centre of Hall 6 in September 2016, the RETAIL SPACE delivers a series of 20-minute workshop-debate events for retail professionals, where specialists decipher emerging consumption patterns. A selection of books focusing on various topics mentioned during the events – digitalisation, retail outlet management, merchandising, emerging
trends – is available from the adjacent café-bookshop.

Cook & Share
Focused on the story of sharing fine dining experiences, the art of cooking, entertaining and enjoying good food, Cook & Share is distributed between Halls 5 & 6 and presents a wide lifestyle offering including kitchen equipment, tableware, fine foods and gourmet gifts.

Bonus feature for professionals
This sector was the least affected by changes, but it was broadened to include everything related to food preparation and service and gourmet gifts. Originally limited to tableware, the sector now presents a “three-star chef ” offering, which encompasses new kitchen behaviours and new consumption patterns.

Be Your Chef brings together brands showing products for shopping, preparing food, cooking like a chef, organising the kitchen and maintaining a convenient and uncluttered workspace.

Party Time presents all of the entertaining essentials, featuring iconic porcelain and crystal-ware brands, as well as new comers, who suggest simpler, less formal ways to entertain guests. Visitors will also find professional equipment, wine tasting accessories and picnic-related products.

Gourmet Gift spotlights tasty gifts, in response to this new trend on the rise: an opportunity for retail business owners to offer unique gifts at reasonable prices and to increase footfall.

Maison & Objet Paris takes place September 8-12, 2017

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