20 years ago, Messe Frankfurt launched Intertextile, the first Chinese home textiles fair, which was held at the New International Expo Centre in Shanghai from 27 to 29 August. Around 1,350 exhibitors (a new record!) took part in this year’s 20th anniversary edition of Intertextile. Accounting for 62 percent of exhibitors, upholstery fabric was the best represented segment, followed by curtains and decorative fabrics with 26 percent. The third biggest product group was bedding with 20 percent. The show with Trend Forum and design lectures was a real source of inspiration.
Around 1,000 Chinese companies and premium editors from another 30 countries, including Korea, Morocco, Pakistan and Taiwan, presented their latest products on 150,400 square metres of exhibition space. European textile companies from Italy, Belgium, Germany and Turkey occupied a separate exhibition hall. More and more Europeans see the fair as an opportunity to gain a foothold in the gigantic Chinese market. One of them is Jab Anstoetz. Taking part in Shanghai for the second time, the company operates in China under the Jab Furnishing label, which means it sells not only fabrics and carpets but also luminaires and furniture (Bielefelder Werkstätten). Thus, retailers can obtain everything from the same source. A lack of interest from the Chinese side is something Manuel Heidhölter, Vice President of International Sales at Jab and responsible for expansion in the Asian market, could not complain about. On the contrary, the company’s exhibition stand was very busy the whole time. “The signs are good”, said a delighted Manuel Heidhölter. European brands and German ones in particular continue to be held in high regard in China. “Nevertheless, you need staying power to become established here”, said the expert on China. “The key is to find the right local partners.” This takes time and research effort. However, they now have partners on board and have found suitable premises. The next step is already in the planning stage: the opening of a 400 m² showroom and flagship store in Shanghai.
Andreas Veil, CEO of Traumina Bettwaren Manufaktur, was at the Shanghai fair for the second time. Considerable interest is being shown in his company’s high-quality bedding although the focus of demand is on low-priced products.
Nevertheless, the fair does not spotlight just products but also trends. For example, a popular trend forum on ‘Balance’ proved to be a source of inspiration for the mainly Asian visitors. The wide-ranging programme of events with a variety of showcases, design seminars and lectures was also extremely well received by the approx. 40,000 visitors (about 10 percent more than in 2013) with all seats being taken for lectures by both European and Chinese designers. Which shows: there is an enormous interest in current trends and design themes.