With the entire area almost fully booked by the spring of 2020, and thus outstanding registration levels for spoga+gafa, the trade fair situation increasingly came to reflect the current developments around Covid-19 and the economic situation.
For this reason, the spoga+gafa team reassessed the overall situation together with the Advisory Board and decided that it was best to respond to the cancellations and wishes of a large number of industry exhibitors and visitors by suspending spoga+gafa 2020.
At the request of the industry, Koelnmesse have also permanently moved the date for spoga+gafa to the first half of the year. In future, this means that the largest garden lifestyle trade fair in the world will be held at a time more convenient for orders by large segments of the industry. In 2021, spoga+gafa will take place from 30 May to 1 June.
“We are working together with the garden sector to prepare ourselves for a new normal in daily life. We are underscoring this shared conviction under the hashtag #gardenbackstronger,” Koelnmesse says. The management of Koelnmesse has issued a further statement to exhibitors and visitors to the Spoga+Gafa show. In the statement, business division director Catja Caspary and Stefan Lohrberg, director of Spoga+Gafa, confirm: “As delighted as we are that most of the comments we’ve been getting from exhibitors and visitors have been confirmatory, we take their concerns very seriously, especially the uncertainty felt by our partners from overseas.” The feedback has encouraged the trade show management team to make the decision to let Spoga+Gafa go ahead on 6-8 September 2020 in Cologne.
The German DIY store chain Hornbach has reported a rapid increase in sales from its DIY stores and almost doubled earnings due to the coronavirus crisis. According to initial preliminary results, sales in the first quarter (1 March to 31 May 2020) have grown by 18.4% to EUR 1.492 bn. The operating earnings adjusted for non-operating impacts on earnings (adjusted EBIT) increased by around 90% to around EUR 160m.
The reason for the significant improvement in earnings is essentially the strong sales growth at home and abroad, reports the company. They state that in the course of the coronavirus crisis, customer demand in the stationary and online business has risen significantly since mid-March – also benefited by the pleasant spring weather in 2020.
The largest sales growths were achieved in May 2020 with plus 36 per cent (March 2020: minus 2 per cent; April 2020: plus 17 per cent), after all of the initially up to 64 Hornbach stores which were effected by official sales restrictions were reopened.
During a digital press conference, Stefan Lohrberg (l.), Director Spoga+Gafa, Catja Caspary, Vice President, and Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer, presented Koelnmesse’s plans for this year’s show in September. Koelnmesse has once again affirmed that Spoga+Gafa will be taking place on 6-8 September 2020. In a video statement which the event organisers shared at an online press conference on 13 May, Chief Operating Officer Oliver Frese says: “It is our declared aim to open the trade fair on the planned date. The exhibitors are showing high interest in the event and due to the fact that other industry events have had to be cancelled or postponed, we are once again recording increased growth in the number of applications.”
Since Saturday 18 April DIY stores and garden centres reopened in Belgium. As reported on numerous media channels, long queues formed outside the stores from early morning. “Previous to these openings tremendous lobbying had been realised at the instigation of Erwin Van Osta, CEO of the Hubo Group,” says Belgian sector expert Thierry Coeman. “The first sales results responded to expectations, as home improvement and garden activities substantially contribute to the mental health of the Belgians.” The guidance given to retailers is that customers must maintain a distance of 1.5 m from one another and 10 sqm must be available per customer. Garden centres in Belgium have voluntarily increased this to 50 sqm, as announced by their association, Belgische Tuincentra Vereniging VZW/Association Belge des Jardineries (ASBL).
From the 14th April 2020, home improvement stores will be able to reopen in Austria, as Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) announced in a press conference. In Austria, strict measures to curb the corona epidemic will be eased after Easter, including the reopening of DIY stores. Specialist dealers with sales areas of less than 400 sqm can also open again. Whilst stores will be reopening all retailers must adhere to certain rules:
- Only one customer will be allowed per 20 sqm
- The shops must be disinfected and clean regularly
- Shoppers are also obligated to wear masks in Austria
Read more: www.baumarktmanager.de