International event revs up for February

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International event revs up for February

By Kenneth Clark - 10/29/2020
Coming to Cologne, Germany, (and online) Feb. 21-24.

Organizers of Eisenwarenmesse – the International Hardware Fair Cologne – are planning a hybrid event Feb. 21-24, combining what is described as a “safe live event” and an online platform to conduct business and share information.

A total of 2,762 companies have registered so far, including international players such as Metabo with the Cordless Alliance System (CAS), Gesipa, HAZET, Pferd Rüggeberg, Proxxon, Prebena, Reyher, Scheppach Stanley Black & Decker, Wiha, Witte and Kukko.

Attractions at the fair will include innovative solutions for e-commerce, 5G and 3D printing as well as unique new products and technologies.

Wolfgang J. Kirchhoff, chairman of the advisory board of Koelnmesse, organizers of the show, described the disruptions of 2020: “The good news: So far, most of the industries represented here have developed positively despite the pandemic and temporary closures - this particularly applies to the DYI and Home Improvement sectors. The bad news: The pandemic is ongoing, and consequently there is great uncertainty across all industries. In addition, the Association of German Tool Manufacturers suffered significant losses in terms of export business and incoming orders.”

Koelnmesse is taking steps toward a "safe, life event."

Despite temporary store shutdowns, retailers in the DIY and gardening sector closed the first half of the year with increased sales:

• Germany: EUR 11.82 billion (up15.6%)
• Austria: EUR 1.49 billion (up 8.3%)
• Switzerland: EUR 1.69 billion (up 3.5%).

“This upward trend is likely to continue in the second half of 2020,” said Kirchhoff.

The industry, he added has successfully demonstrated its relevance during the shutdown. Against this backdrop, the Eisenwarenmesse will resume business with the slogan: “We’re starting the engine.”

"Our first and foremost priority is the health of all trade fair participants and our own employees,” said Oliver Frese, COO of Koelnmesse. “With this in mind, we will examine every event down to the last detail and make the appropriate individual decisions."

A statement from the European DIY Retail Association reads: “Following a most difficult 2020, due to the global pandemic, the feedback we hear from the whole industry is that almost everyone is desperately wanting business to get back to normal as much possible and to physically meet each other again, despite the strict but necessary social distancing.”

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