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Photo by Thomas Klerx, ©Koelnmesse GmbH

Snapshot of Spoga+Gafa

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As the world’s leading lawn and garden show, spoga+gafa is a destination for retailers looking for new products, trends and inspiration for how to separate themselves from their competitors in the category. This year’s event, held Sept. 2-4 at the Koelnmesse Exhibition Center in Cologne, Germany, drew more than 2,000 exhibitors and 40,000 visitors from all over the world and sizes of retail operations. On display were some of the best new products on the market and the styles and designs that will drive consumer buying in 2019.

For retailers who want to keep their lawn, garden and outdoor living departments on the cutting edge of what’s new, international shows such as spoga+gafa play an important role. These events are the places where retailers will find new products not yet offered in their markets. It’s where retailers can stay ahead of consumer buying habits, and it’s where they can find inspiration for how to more effectively merchandise these categories.

Here are five trends Hardware Retailing editors spotted at spoga+gafa 2018.

Vendors are turning recycled plastics into planters, pots and patio furniture. Customers will feel better about buying a product that has kept trash out of the landfill. Similarly, reclaimed wood for furniture continues to be a strong trend.




Outdoor Oasis
Customers want relaxation and design in their outdoor spaces. That means having comfortable, upholstered furniture as stylish as its indoor counterparts. Outdoor lighting, plants and accessories make the space complete.




Urban Gardens
City dwellers don’t want to miss out on the outdoor living experience, even if they only have a small balcony or patio. Products reflecting this trend include hanging planters, portable grills and furniture designed for small spaces.





Gourmet Outdoor Cooking
Cooking enthusiasts are taking their skills outside and looking for fully equipped outdoor kitchens. Kitchen units may include barbecues, smokers and pizza ovens, along with other appliances, such as wine coolers.




Form and Function
Fire pits and grills are not just mundane objects meant to serve a function; consumers want them to be stylish and make an artistic statement in the yard, too. They can also create a conversation piece in the store.










Click here for more coverage of the event.

Here are some more trends and retail ideas Hardware Retailing editors saw at the show.

About Jesse Carleton

Jesse Carleton has visited independent hardware retailers, conducted original research on the industry and written extensively about the business of hardware retailing. Jesse has written for more than a dozen of NHPA’s contract publishing titles, all related to the hardware retailing industry. He also was instrumental in developing the Basic Training in Hardware Retailing courses now used by thousands of retailers across the country.

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