Espritmeuble, the French trade fair dedicated to the furniture industry, will take place from 16-19th November in Porte de Versailles. Furniture News’ Victoria Noakes spoke to Gilles Silberman, vice-CEO of Cauval Industries – one of the largest furniture manufacturers in France – and founding member of the event, to find out more …
When was Espritmeuble originally established, by who and why?
Espritmeuble was created in 2012 on the initiative of Célio, Ernest Ménard and Cauval Group, three French manufacturers who had for many years felt disappointed by the organisation and choice of trade shows in France, and felt the need to bring together the sector for a national event. We eventually thought a union of manufacturers could create a new appointment for our distributors.
What are the main aims of Espritmeuble?
Our ambition was clearly to make the show a place of business, meetings and exchanges to help develop our sector. We were eager to give the furniture industry added visibility and content. Espritmeuble is primarily a trade show, a business event. Its purpose is to allow distributors to discover manufacturers’ new products and order them. The choice of a date in November is also highly strategic – everything is done to allow the new collections to be in stores after the winter sales.
Espritmeuble has also set itself the task of highlighting the dynamics that characterise the furniture industry, and demonstrate the sector’s modernity and capacity for innovation. The aim of this 2013 edition is to attract as many of our European neighbours as possible to make Espritmeuble a landmark event for the Continent.
Which countries are primarily targeted by this event?
France, of course, but many others too. In 2012, we attracted countries including the UK, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Russia and Switzerland, and we don’t intend to stop there! This year’s edition will be one of openness and we hope our offering will attract many more international visitors.
Will the exhibition be suitable for international visitors who do not speak French?
Of course! This trade show is organised by manufacturers for their customers, to share with them in a friendly atmosphere, whatever their nationality. Both domestic and international visitors will be treated like valued guests, and teams at the booths are all able to discuss with buyers in English.
Which UK-relevant exhibitors will be attending this year?
International brands that will be present include Bultex, Célio, Dunlopillo, Duvivier, Maestri, and Simmons to name but a few. The main interest for visitors from the UK is to discover major innovations in bedding and furniture, notably in the field of sustainable development and design.
Which product areas will be on display?
Every type of product offered by brands and manufacturers in the furniture sector – bedding, seating, suites, sofas and sofa-beds, furniture, accessories and more.
Tell us a bit about the current condition of the furniture industry in France, and how the future looks.
The market is facing a very tough economic environment. However, manufacturers continue to innovate and demonstrate their dynamism, notably through their presence at Espritmeuble. They are observing new consumer behaviours and seeking to adapt their offerings to changing lifestyles and needs.
What is the importance of having an event exclusively dedicated to the furniture industry?
It offers buyers a single, central venue in which to discover new products, new collections and major innovations in the industry, without being distracted by items too remote from their core business, such as small home decor products. This is a great time saver!