EuroShop 2008 exceeds optimistic expectations

More than 100,000 specialists attended the world’s No. 1 event for retail and its partners in Düsseldorf – every second visitor had specific intentions to purchase

Retail companies and their partners arrived at the industry’s premier event, EuroShop in Düsseldorf, feeling optimistic. The positive economic climate suggested the likelihood of increased readiness to invest and justifiably aroused hopes of a good trade fair. Over the five-day run of EuroShop 2008, these high expectations were far exceeded. From the very first day the doors opened, the mood was upbeat, with many new customer contacts forged and a surprising number of deals closed.

Wilhelm Niedergöker, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf was delighted with the enthusiastic reception: “With the EuroShop 2008 results, we’re above the industry average in the consumer-related segment. When compared to the previous event, the significantly sunnier business climate shines through in the facts and figures: The number of exhibitors climbed by 252 new participants from 1,659 to 1,911 – up by some 15 percent. Rentals of net floor space rose by 13 percent from 94,825 square metres in 2005 to 107,100 square metres. Hailing from more than 90 countries, 104,000 trade visitors attended, equivalent to 14 percent or 13,000 more than three years ago.”

Among the exhibitors, some 54 percent are based abroad, while 58 percent of visitors arrived from outside Germany. “This is compelling confirmation of EuroShop’s leading position on the world market,” averred Niedergöker.

Looking back on a more than 40-year history, EuroShop 2008 was a record-breaking event in every aspect. Niedergöker added, “The days at the fair provided proof that EuroShop is and remains the most important meeting point for the world of retail by a long way! And its significance goes far beyond that. Exhibition stand builders, architects and marketing experts from the consumer goods industry also gather inspiration for their forward-looking concepts in Düsseldorf.”

In terms of size and variety, EuroShop 2008 offered a comprehensive overview of all the key trends in each of the four segments: EuroConcept (store fitting, store furnishing, architecture & design, lighting, refrigeration cabinets and systems), EuroSales (visual marketing, sales promotion, POS marketing), EurCIS (information and security technology) and EuroExpo (exhibition stand construction, design, events). On the exhibitor side, market leaders were as much in evidence in the segments as young companies in growth markets. Compared to EuroShop 2005 some sub-sections underwent a major growth spurt. Such as for instance, lighting, which for the first time filled a whole hall. Trade visitors responded with commensurate enthusiasm, especially as lighting is currently considered to be one of the key areas for investment in shop fitting. A similar situation could be found in the floor coverings section. Suppliers in the remaining sections also recorded high levels of willingness to place orders. In fact, according to the results of a survey, every second visitor travelled to Düsseldorf with specific purchasing intentions.

Prof. Bernd Hallier, Managing Director of the EHI Retail Institute and Chairman of the EuroShop exhibitor council was extremely pleased with the success of EuroShop 2008: “There was a definite step-up in the attractiveness of stands across all halls. Nowhere else will you experience such spectacular presentations that appeal to all of the senses! And exhibitors’ hard work was rewarded – visitors from all corners of the globe were not only enthralled with the ideas but happy to invest in forward-looking concepts, too. In addition to the commercial successes achieved during EuroShop’s run we are also expecting brisk post-fair business.”

The findings of the visitor survey corroborate exhibitors’ assessment that the ranks of visitors from outside Germany had swelled again. Over 60,000 specialists arrived from abroad – 8,500 more than at EuroShop 2005. For 30 percent of the non-German visitors, attending required an overseas trip, while 70 percent are based in Europe. The boost of some 4,000 to the number of Germans in attendance was unanimously welcomed.

As anticipated, the proportion of Asian experts increased once again – some 6,900 visited the fair on the Rhine. Three years ago Asian visitors totalled about 4,400. The biggest contingents touring the halls were from India, China, Singapore and Taiwan. Attendee numbers from North, Central and South America picked up unmistakably. About 3,600 visitors make their homes in the USA and Canada – that’s 1,000 more than were recorded at EuroShop 2005. Latin America and Mexico and Brazil, in particular, were the source of roughly 3,200 visitors (2005: 2,100).

Among the Europeans, the 4,300 Dutch visitors made their presence most strongly felt, followed by their colleagues from the UK (3,700 visitors) and Italy (3,600 visitors). Interest in the event and willingness to invest expanded notably among the target audience in Central and Eastern Europe. It was above all the Russians who arrived in high numbers but Ukrainians, Poles, Hungarians and Romanians were also out in force.

While the center of attention at EuroShop 2008 was the diverse range of offerings showcased by exhibitors, the high-calibre ancillary programme was also exceptionally well received. Notably, the EuroShop Retail Design Conference, retail technology days europe and International EuroShop POP Conference yet again enjoyed a rise in participants and a distinct expansion in international reach. The premieres of the EuroShop Retail Design Awards and Retail Technology Awards Europe proved successful and attracted numerous high-quality submissions, which the expert juries narrowed down to find the winners. Both awards will continue to be conferred annually.

Following its successful debut in 2005, the EuroShop Designer Village, which served as a forum for retail architecture and design, this year had grown to occupy twice the previous exhibition space. International architects and design agencies unveiled solutions dedicated especially to the retail industry. The offbeat design ideas on display were big hits.

Also popular with visitors were the EuroShop forums which provided a stage for international speakers to address topical industry issues in short talks dealing with architecture and design, IT and security technology as well as POS marketing, among other things. There were seldom any empty seats in the audience.

The next edition of EuroShop will open its doors from 26 February to 2 March 2011 while EuroCIS will be back already from 10 to 12 February 2009.