COLOGNE, Germany – Organizers of the Cologne International Furniture Fair have cancelled the January tradeshow due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Plans already are underway to resume the event in 2022.
IMM Cologne announced just last month it would convert to a hybrid format running Jan. 20-23 with a shorter physical market and extended digital platforms, but coronavirus-related developments since then in Europe and Germany forced a full cancellation. The next IMM Cologne will take place Jan. 19-23, 2022.
“We’ve had to face the reality, even though it’s painful. In the end, because of the very dynamic way things are developing right now, the uncertainty among our exhibitors and visitors was just too strong,” said Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse, the show’s venue, in a release. “This decision was geared to the interiors industry and made in close consultation with our conceptual sponsor, the Assn. of the German Furniture Industry, as well as our exhibitors and partners. Because the concept for the special edition was based on the offline and online formats being closely interlinked and mutually dependent, not even a purely digital event made sense under these circumstances.”
Böse remained optimistic about the future and looked forward to 2022, when he hopes IMM Cologne will get the industry off to a dynamic start to the year.
“The fact that IMM Cologne 2021 can’t take place because of the pandemic is extremely regrettable for our industry,” said Elmar Duffner, president of the Assn. of the German Furniture Industry. “But in view of the worsening coronavirus situation in Germany and many other countries, it’s the right decision.”
In 2022, IMM Cologne will take place in physical form as usual, with the addition of a digital supplement. Over the coming weeks, the concept for next year’s show will be drawn up in conjunction with the furniture industry.
I’m Powell Slaughter, senior editor at Furniture/Today. I returned to the publication in January 2015 after nine years of writing about furniture retail strategies and best practices at a monthly magazine focusing on home furnishings retail operations. Prior to that, I spent 10 years with F/T covering wood furniture, the last five of those as case goods editor. Upon my return to F/T, I developed coverage of the logistical and service aspects of the furniture industry as well as following the occasional, home office and home entertainment categories. In April 2018 I took over the upholstery category, with responsibility for coverage of the fabric and leather stationary and motion upholstery, recliners and massage chair categories.