Retail in the EU grew by 6.8 percent in 2021
Following a 1.5 percent increase in sales in the 27 EU states in the first Corona year 2020, the retail sector again recorded a significant increase of 6.8 percent in 2021. The highest growth rates were in smaller Eastern European countries such as Lithuania (up 17 percent), Slovenia (up 16 percent) and Estonia (up 13 percent). Larger markets such as France, Spain and Italy also all recorded retail growth rates of over 7 percent. This is shown by the new Retail in Europe study, in which the market research institute GfK examines important key indicators.
German online shoppers against destroying returns
More than 80 percent of Germans support a ban on the destruction of returns. The aim is to encourage online retailers to be more sustainable. The people surveyed would not like to change their own buying behavior on the Internet - either by reducing the volume or by avoiding returns. People over 40 find it particularly difficult to reduce their Internet shopping. Three quarters of Germans prefer providers who use as little or sustainable packaging material as possible. These are the results of the representative Postbank Digital Study 2022.
Ragolle sold to Victoria
First Balta, now Ragolle: The British Victoria Group is strengthening its commitment in Belgium and is taking over the manufacturer of machine-woven rugs, Ragolle Rugs. The strategic objective of both parties is "to ensure the continuity of Ragolle Rugs as a separate brand and not to integrate it commercially into a larger entity", says an announcement of the company. Current owners Herman and Myriam Verhelst-Ragolle will continue to run the company. Nothing is expected to change for customers. The takeover by Victoria is intended to further diversify and provide stability and steady growth.
Flanders Flooring Days: Date confirmed for 2023
An " enormous success" is how the organizing Belgian flooring manufacturers describe their first "Flanders Flooring Days", which celebrated its premiere at the beginning of May. Over 1,000 visitors from more than 55 countries attended the four-day event, for which the companies opened all their showrooms. As a result, the organizers have decided to continue the concept and have set a date for 2023: Flanders Flooring Days will then take place from May 22 to 25.
Pieter Vandewalle to Üstünsoy Textiles
After 14 years working for Belgian carpet manufacturer Balta Home, Pieter Vandenwalle joins Üstünsoy Textiles. At his previous employer, Vandenwalle worked in marketing, sales and as a key account manager. His new role is to accelerate growth in Europe and explore new regions. Üstunsoy Textiles was founded in 2015 and has since built a strong presence in Western Europe and the US.
Balta parent Victoria with new CFO
The flooring producer and supplier Victoria (among others Balta Home), headquartered in the UK, is getting a new Chief Financial Officer: After more than six years in this position, the current CFO, Mike Scott, will leave the company. During his time with the company, Victoria had developed from a medium-sized manufacturer for the UK market into an internationally active group of companies.
Scott will be succeeded by Brian Morgan from 22 August. The 49-year-old was most recently Director of Group Finance at Synthomer, an international chemical company. Following Morgan's arrival at Victoria, Mike Scott will continue to act as a non-executive director until the annual general meeting, after which he will provide advice to the flooring supplier as required.
XXXLutz Group strengthens activities in Poland
The XXXLutz Group is expanding its presence in Poland with a 50/50 partnership with the Black Red White Group (BRW Group). The BRW Group is made up of Polish furniture retailers and manufacturers, which among other things has 93 branches of its own (79 of which are in Poland). The group employs 7,900 people and exports its own products to more than 50 countries worldwide.
Domotex Asia to be held in Shenzen in August
Due to the current Corona situation, Domotex Asia / Chinafloor had to be postponed. Actually, the flooring trade fair for the Asia-Pacific region was to take place in Shanghai in April. Now the new date is fixed - and a new location. The fair will be held from August 31 to September 2 in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. Shenzhen has experienced a strong upswing in recent years. As a central city in the Guangdong - Hong Kong - Macau metropolitan area, Shenzen would have a "multiplier effect," the organizers say.
Domotex 2023 focused on sustainability
With the keynote theme "Floored by Nature," Domotex, which is scheduled to take place in Hanover from January 12 to 15, 2023, is focusing on the topic of sustainability. In doing so, the flooring trade show aims to address issues surrounding healthy, natural and sustainable living in our working and living spaces. "The resource-saving use of materials, the circular economy, a new sourcing debate, healthy living and working, and advancing digitalization in all areas of life are also shaping the flooring industry and with it the world's leading trade show Domotex. 'Floored by Nature', stands for sustainable and natural materials that are taking over our living spaces. Inspired and fascinated by nature, 'Floored by Nature' means discovering new environmentally compatible possibilities and making optimum use of existing resources. The goal: to create healthy, sustainable and at the same time inspiring spaces," says Sonia Wedell-Castellano, Global Director Domotex, Deutsche Messe AG, explaining the 2023 keynote theme.
Flanders Flooring Days: very positive response
Ten Belgian flooring manufacturers at twelve locations, no more than 50 minutes apart by car: the first edition of the Flanders Flooring Days took place in Belgium from 2 to 5 May. The event, a joint project of the participating exhibitors on the initiative of Jan Dossche (Coretec Floors), was organised within a very short time after major trade fairs such as Domotex had been unable to take place for two years due to Corona. The following suppliers invited visitors to their showrooms in Flanders: Associated Weavers, Balta, Beaulieu International Group, Coretec Floors, ITC, IVC Group, Lano Carpet Solutions, Modulyss, Ragolle and Unilin.