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Self-Service And Cash-and-carry Furniture At Imm Smart

The magazine "Neon" celebrates the new Downshifters, people whose personal happiness means more to them than climbing the career ladder. Young fashion freaks show the latest fashion trends on Internet sites such as styleclicker.com. And IKEA Amsterdam, as exchange market host, acquires creative complementary purchasers. A lot is happening on the market for first-time home furnishers and other mobile furniture consumers. Imm cologne 2009 has the just the right living products for them: From 19 to 25 January, Cologne will once again set the scene for international furniture fair with a comprehensive cash-and-carry range on offer.

Hall 7 and 8 right next to the Northern entrance of the koelnmesse will provide the backdrop for the label "imm smart" the fastest furniture the world currently has to offer. Exhibitors from more than 20 countries are offering their latest products for profitable business ventures. Kim Primdahl Andersen, Vice President R&D of the Danish cash-and-carry furniture manufacturer on the significance of Cologne as host city for the fair: "We see imm cologne as the most important internationally oriented trade fair. Our company exports to 70 various markets and can greet a majority of these customers in Cologne." Michael Stiehl, Vice President of the association of German furniture industries (VDM) and General Manager of the bedroom furniture manufacturer Rauch, appreciates the profitable business atmosphere of the Cologne furniture fair: "Visitors from all parts of the world can get a first-hand look at the efficiency of the manufacturers, network and make decisions concerning their product range - and all of this in various product groups and with a diversity unmatched by any other trade fair."

The current international economic situation of the SF and CC segment of the furniture market poses a challenge, according to Kim P. Andersen. It's no secret that the situation for durable consumer goods is generally a difficult one. In terms of his own, 1,700 staff strong company, he still is counting on a profitable year-end result. Michael Stiehl also tends to share a cautious optimistic stance regarding the CC segment: "As there is no real demarcation of the SS and the CC furniture markets, there are no reliable statistics to back up their market development. The increasing number of outlets as well as the increasing amount of sales floor space in the SS and CC furniture market can be regarded as indicators pointing towards positive tendencies in the business.

And what about the international trends in the SS and CC furniture segment? Kim P. Andersen has made some interesting observations concerning developments in this respect: "A few years ago, we were able to satisfy the markets with relatively few forms and colours. What we are seeing now is that tastes and requirements for design, colour, etc. are developing in various directions and that they have increasingly individualist tendencies varying from market to market. Andersen also mentioned a further tendency involving the growing popularity of extreme product features. For example, either exceptionally light or dark colours are preferred and either very expressive or very soft wood grain.

At least the lighter colours in the next season are predominantly a result of the 2008 women's fashion year. Unique furniture pieces in silver and white as well as colourful, high-contrast can be seen in halls 7 and 8. Broken tones, natural surface structures and organic forms by eco-friendly designers that serve as attractive monuments should also be mentioned in this respect.

These elements occasionally blend into an idiosyncratic country-home look with a pinch of glamour, or a rustic mix of coarse, rusty iron furniture. "Retrospection Forward" - the innovative integration of various retro styles - is a trend mentioned by the Future Institute in its Lifestyle Report 2008 as a forecast for 2009. Further hot news: "iPodism" with products surrounding the mobile music player segment and the revival of "ready mades"; redesigned, existing classic products. Discreet and elegant low furniture, partially made of massive wood or veneered with dark and light precious woods form the basis of the "imm smart" offering - enough stuff in Cologne for even the most seasoned style clicker.



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