After a highly successful 2013 fair, Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles' autumn edition returns from 27-29th August, and will be held again at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. Last year’s event featured 1321 exhibitors from 31 countries and regions, and 39,189 buyers from 91 countries and regions. The exhibitor presence from 31 territories represented a new record for the fair, and signifies that the Asian market, and in particular China, remains an attractive destination for overseas suppliers.
Following on from the success of 2013, promising economic figures out of China bode well for exhibitors at this year’s Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles. In the first 10 months of 2013, the country’s imports and exports grew by 7.6% compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. Meanwhile, domestic sales of mattresses rose by 24% last year, compared to a worldwide average of just 9%, as consumers continue to spend more on foreign-branded home products.
Based on the high interest from buyers in the international areas at last year’s fair, this demand for foreign brands is expected to continue. Overseas trends are increasingly influencing purchasing decisions in the domestic home textiles market, and high-end brands in particular can benefit from the recent surge in demand for luxury items. Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles – Asia’s largest home textiles trade fair – is designed to allow overseas exhibitors to take advantage of key sectors in the domestic industry, with the returning European Hall being one example of this. The strong demand in China for premium European products led to its creation last year, with exhibitors from 16 different EU countries taking part.
Of those buyers at the fair looking for products from overseas, 33% expressed a preference for European items, ensuring exhibitors in this hall were overwhelmingly positive about taking part. “We were absolutely satisfied with our participation,” commented Edward Wilkinson, sales manager, Abraham Moon & Sons Ltd, UK – an exhibitor in the European Hall in 2013. “We have noticed an increase in demand for European products in China, so this fair has been extremely successful for us.”
Bedding and towelling is a particular growth market in China at present. As incomes in the region rise, consumers are looking more for premium products in this category, and top international brands such as Curt Bauer, Martinelli, Marzotto and Mundotextil were just some examples whose products were successful last year. “Buyers here are looking for high-end items, and German products are very popular with Chinese consumers at the moment,” confirmed Michael Bauer, MD, Curt Bauer. Decorative fabrics are also a key product group at the fair with over 70% of all exhibitors last year falling within this category. This matches the high domestic demand for these items.
Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles focuses on more than just fabrics, encompassing all product categories currently in demand throughout the region. A Carpet Zone featuring floorcovering exhibitors, and wall coverings, sun protection systems and curtain accessory products will be features of the fair again in 2014. Also returning is the Intertextile Design Boutique where original artwork and creative designs for home textiles can be found. Last year, 46 studios from 14 countries and regions participated, with many noting a change in domestic buyers’ purchasing habits. “Chinese consumers are getting more sophisticated, and those at the top end of the market understand original designs are a good investment to make,” said Jemma Lewis, Creative Journey, UK.
Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles – Autumn Edition is organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd; the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; and the China Home Textile Association (CHTA).