FRANKFURT, GERMANY— The recent Ambiente trade fair, playing against an improving global economy, welcomed an enthusiastic crowd of international housewares and tableware buyers and exhibitors.
Exhibitors with a U.S. base or presence said they met with several U.S. housewares retailers, including representatives from Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Walmart, Williams-Sonoma, TJX/Home Goods, HSN, Sur La Table and The Container Store. Buyers from Sears Holdings were also on hand to the surprise of some because of the uncertain financial standing of the Sears and Kmart parent.
Suppliers said many U.S. buyers in Germany were eager to get a jump on 2018 planning. Many buyers told vendors a strong finish to 2017 could lead to more ambitious buying programs in the coming months for brick-and-mortar and e-commerce platforms. Despite such optimism, housewares vendors at Ambiente said they still detected some caution on the part of retailers needing to curate more productive brick-and-mortar mixes, in many cases for a smaller store base, while advancing their e-commerce business.
Overall, Ambiente, coming on the heels of winter U.S. gift, home and housewares fairs that projected renewed confidence among housewares sellers and buyers, set the stage for an active International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago slated just a little more than three weeks after Ambiente’s conclusion.
Housewares Moving To New Hall 12
Many housewares exhibitors in Messe Frankfurt Halls 5 and 6 were informed during Ambiente they would relocate for Ambiente 2019 to the under-construction Hall 12. The two-level Hall 12, described by fair officials as a state-of-the-art convention facility, is scheduled to be completed this fall on the western end of the Messe Frankfurt complex. The construction of Hall 12 will allow Messe Frankfurt to replace Hall 5 and renovate Hall 6.
The Houseware & Storage area— which includes home storage, plasticware, kitchenware and other household items— is slated to move to Hall 12 for Ambiente 2019 from its current locations in Hall 5 levels 5.0 and 5.1 and Hall 6 levels 6.0 and 6.1. While Hall 6 is cleared for restructuring in 2019, the Tabletop Trade area will move temporarily from Hall 6 levels 6.2 and 6.3 to Hall 5 levels 5.2 and 5.1.
From Ambiente 2019 onward, the entire Sourcing Dining area will be concentrated on four levels in Hall 10. Hall 10.2 is to include an exhibit called “Premium,” featuring selected exhibitors from Global Sourcing Dining.
Otherwise, Ambiente’s Dining area will remain unchanged. This includes Hall 4 levels 4.0 (Contemporary Tabletop Design) and 4.1 (Tabletop Prestige), Hall 1 levels 1.1 and 1.2 (Kitchen Trends featuring kitchen tools and kitchenware) and Hall 3 levels 3.0 and 3.1 (Kitchen featuring cookware, bakeware, cutlery and kitchen electrics).
A new Kitchen Houseware Express shuttle will provide visitors with a non-stop, two-way link between Hall 12 and Hall 3.
Ambiente 2019 is scheduled for February 8-12.
India: Ambiente 2019 Partner Country
Messe Frankfurt officials named India as the partner country for Ambiente 2019.
A special exhibit of Indian products will be highlighted during next year’s Ambiente. This year’s presentation was staged by the Netherlands.
Ajay Tamta, Indian Minister of State for Textiles, said, “India’s participation will add to the vibrancy and diversity of the fair and familiarize global manufacturers, retailers and brands with the robust entrepreneurship in Indian textiles, apparel and consumer products industry and will open up opportunities for sourcing and investment in India.”
India is the eighth partner country for the show, following Denmark, France, Japan, the United States, Italy, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.