3 questions to: John Herbert

John Herbert is the General Secretary of the European Retail Association, EDRA, the international organization representing home improvement retailers across the globe. With contact to almost every home centre worldwide EDRA has its finger on the pulse of current developments, best practices and the latest home improvement trends.

John Herbert, how important is the garden market for home centres worldwide today?
Herbert: The home centres in our EDRA operating in 50 countries represent total sales of more than 120 Billion Euro. The garden market has a share of 22 % including plants. That is no doubt very important.

Why should your members come to Cologne to visit spoga+gafa?
Herbert: Because there is no better place to be to do garden business. There is no other place with such a huge range of merchandize in one lot. You can find the cheapest but also the best products. The fair is absolutely attractive to the industry. It’s definitely a “must go”!

How about plants on spoga+gafa?
Herbert: As a lot of visitors are coming all over Europe to the spoga+gafa trade fair it could be advantageous for plant suppliers to be at the fair and it will give the spoga+gafa more of a feel as a garden trade fair.

Further information: edra-online.com

 

Metin Ergül leaves Koelnmesse

Metin Ergül, Head of Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse, is going to leave the enterprise by the end of March 2012. He will take up new employment as director of an enterprise in the health care industry.

Ergül has been employed with Koelnmesse since 2006. During the past years he successfully developed the trade fairs in the field of home, garden and leisure industries, for instance the spoga+gafa, the spoga+gafa horse, the Cologne Marathon Expo, the international hardware trade fair, the Asia Pacific Sourcing and the China International Hardware Show abroad. Until a successor has been nominated, Koelnmesse-director Katharina C. Hamma takes over his responsibilities.

German trade fairs are most popular

Everyone in Europe is talking about “the crisis”. However, despite currency problems and debt crisis the German trade fair industry faces an upward trend – and many exhibitors intend to spend even more money on their trade fair appearances in 2012 and 2013.

According to a recent survey carried out by TNS Emnid for AUMA, the German association for trade fairs, 30 % of those companies represented at a trade fair in 2011 will ramp up their trade show budgets. Another 55 % will neither increase nor decrease their spending. In most cases the extra money will be spent on a more attractive design of the booth or its enlargement. Thus, trade fairs continue to play a vital role in the marketing strategies of large and small companies alike, which is also reflected by the fact that more and more small companies decide to exhibit at relevant trade shows. Trade fairs in Germany become increasingly interesting for exhibitors from abroad, which resulted in a surpassing plus of 4 % in 2011. “Many non-European companies that want to explore the European market start by exhibiting on trade fairs in Germany” says AUMA-Chairman Hans-Joachim Boekstegers. But also for those foreign companies that have already established their products on the European and/or German market are German trade fairs an important marketing tool: AUMA forecasts a further increase in the numbers of exhibitors and visitors of two per cent in 2012.

Further information on trade fairs in Germany this can be obtained under: auma.de

Gardening around the world

It is said that globalisation and modern communication techniques make our planet a smaller place. To a certain extent, this is definitely true, but still it is only half the story as can be seen when looking at garden lovers around the world.

There is one thing, apart from gardening, that gardeners all over the world have in common: Blogging and online gardening. Always in search of inspiration and advice, gardeners love to communicate with other like-minded people everywhere on the globe. The Swedish lawn-mower producer Husqvarna and the German garden equipment producer Gardena, which is also part of the Husqvarna Group, made use of the gardeners’ web affine manner and produced the Global Garden Report. Having analysed more than 1.4 million blog posts in 13 countries they received a very clear picture as to what is hot or not for garden lovers.

Although they found out that the idea of the personal garden paradise is strongly determined by different cultures and the respective zeitgeist in the particular countries, they could put up a top-ten-list of relevant garden trends. According to this list kitchen gardening is the gardeners’ favourite, followed by the organic garden and the feel-good garden. The designed and artistic garden as well as the re-creating wilderness completes the top five. The social garden, urban farming, the lush garden, container gardening and greenhouse gardening follow on positions six to ten. However, the report also reveals that what may be hot in Denmark may not in Norway. Within the next few weeks we will present summaries from the report for each of the surveyed 13 countries.

The full report is available here: newsroom.husqvarna.com

 

Gardening transforms from being “uncool” to “delightful”

Parents with children that do the gardening are amongst those lucky 15 per cent, whose kids’ favourite activities in the garden are not just playing or chilling. A recent survey carried out by Suttons Seeds shows that merely 15 % of young people aged between 15 and 24 do the gardening – at least occasionally.

Even when looking at the next age group, i.e. 25 to 34, this figure rises by only one per cent. According to the survey, teenagers do not see gardening as being “cool” and is simply non-existent for the vast majority of young people in their twenties. However, their attitude towards gardening changes once they are in their thirties. With the focus on career progression, marriage/partnership and home-making, people in their thirties tend to buy their first own house – naturally, with a garden. Now that they have their own garden, they want it to look nice and tidy. Out of necessity, the interest in gardening rises, but there is still a lack of knowledge. Ten years later, in their forties, interest and knowledge have significantly risen. From now on gardening is no longer just a chore; it has evolved into a delightful leisure activity. Another ten years later, when the former “gardening-isn’t-cool-teens” are in their fifties, they are very experienced gardeners with very good (13 %) or quite good (47 %) knowledge.