After a year of economic slowdown, global trade conflicts and the impact of the recent coronavirus outbreak, no major changes are expected in Germany’s economy in 2020. Nevertheless, private consumption is at such a high level that there are almost no signs of a deteriorating consumer mood right now. These are good conditions for a successful Ambiente in Frankfurt, whether it’s ethical purchases, contract furnishing or trendy shopping.
From 7 to 11 February 2020, Ambiente will be the central hub of the consumer goods industry. In total, 4,635 exhibitors from 93 countries will be presenting the latest trends on 310,240 square metres (gross) of floor space. 85 per cent of Ambiente exhibitors are from outside Germany. “The area that has grown especially at Ambiente is Dining, as hospitality, in particular, is a worldwide growth sector – and indeed one that has been developing at an incredible speed in recent years,” says Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt.
“Studies mention growth rates of up to 50 per cent in private and business trips in these markets between 2010 and 2017, and this trend is continuing to increase. We’ve recognised this potential for growth, and so we’ve steadily expanded our hospitality expertise and our offering,” Braun continues. Covering the areas of Dining, Living and Giving, the world’s leading trade fair maps the entire spectrum of consumer goods in the sectors of tableware, kitchenware, interior design and gifts. In early 2019 this networking opportunity was used by 136,081 visitors from 168 countries. Ambiente is a place where brands launch innovative products, designers set trends, decision-makers meet and retailers place orders for the entire season. Commenting on the coronavirus outbreak, Braun says: “The authorities currently estimate that there is no danger for events on the premises of Messe Frankfurt. Right now, however, company representatives are not permitted to travel to Frankfurt if they come from areas placed under quarantine by the Chinese authorities, such as Wuhan or Hubei. We are therefore expecting a lower number of Chinese exhibitors compared with Chinese registrations.”
Economic development in figures
The overall economic outlook for Germany was viewed increasingly pessimistically last year. In all, however, there is no need to fear a general economic recession. After last year’s GDP growth of 0.5 per cent the increase in 2020 is expected to be 1.1 per cent (according to the ifo economic report). On the other hand, private consumption is at such a high level that there are almost no signs of a deteriorating consumer mood right now. Consumption is robust and just as strong as before. Private and state consumption are the main economic drivers, and the Association of German Retailers (HDE) reckons that the trend of increasing retail sales will continue. After the expansion in 2019, the characteristic Ambiente segments are in a good place and likely to continue their upward trend. Taken together, their overall volume has reached EUR 28.58 billion, with a sizeable average growth rate of 2.0 per cent. This resulted in a fairly respectable additional sales revenue of about half a billion euros filling the coffers of the retail trade. However, the situation continues to be challenging throughout all sectors of the industry. Like the last few years, there is no standard pattern in the impact on the retail trade. Online sellers and financially powerful retailers are well placed, whereas small businesses keep declining. High street shops are continuing to die, and some studies have forecast another 50,000 closures in the next two years. Consumer goods markets are currently growing almost exclusively online or in well-designed combinations of online and off-line business. Pure high street shops, on the other hand, are dwindling. Nevertheless, the retail sector as a whole is in a good position.
HoReCa – a growth market
Ambiente has created a clear USP for itself in the HoReCa segment and is set to gain even more momentum through the opening of the new HoReCa Hall 6.0. It is the leading international platform for front-of-house business and the perfect port of call for national and international decision-makers in the hospitality segment, whether they are hotel chains, cruise lines, airlines or caterers. Throughout the world, the hospitality market keeps growing, making it all the more important to look closely at front-of-house business, not just first-hand, but from as many global perspectives as possible. This global view of trends and developments in front-of-house business is precisely the focus of the HoReCa Academy. It also explains why Ambiente’s line-up of speakers is so international and why it includes top speakers from Germany, France, the UK, Hong Kong and China, the Netherlands and the United States. International speakers such as Maham Anjum, Joe Cheng, Ido Garini, Adam D. Tihany, Jozef Youssef and Dr. Francesca Zampollo will be focusing particularly on the significance of front-of-house business, providing participants with first-hand trends and industry insights. The front-of-house role of Ambiente is in fact far more than a mere interface between hospitality and tableware. Ambiente is the only place that gives buyers from the hospitality industry such a unique opportunity to order front-of-house products simultaneously from HoReCa and from the lifestyle collections of Living and Giving exhibitors. Both areas will have guidebooks helping visitors to find their way through the halls, and listing all exhibitors with products in hotels, restaurants and catering as well as in contract business.