The building and home improvement trade ended up growing by 4.8 per cent in 2020, but the growth was not evenly distributed in the industry. There was a clear difference between consumer and professional customer trade. As larger projects went on ice, consumers themselves began to improve the home and yard.
The high levels of new construction, which has been taking place for several years, started to decline in 2020, which was reflected in the professional customer trade. “Consumers, on the other hand, found pleasure in do-it-yourself, which was also reflected in the sales development focused strongly on consumer sales,” says Minna Liuksiala, CEO of the construction and DIY retail association RASI ry.
“Almost all yard and garden products were sold in record terms. Outdoor decking and grills, as well as plants and garden products saw a huge increase in demand. Demand for larger garden investments, such as outdoor hot tubs, also exceeded all expectations” continued Minna Liuksiala.
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.”