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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.
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.
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.
Here are some more trends and retail ideas Hardware Retailing editors saw at the show.
A living wall makes for an attractive display, and is also a space saver. This may also be one way customers want to use the plants in their homes, especially if they have limited space.
The cordless revolution in outdoor power equipment continues, as now the technology can power a riding mulcher.
Spoga+gafa offered many ideas for creative impulse buys, such as these tea plants that allow customers to grow their own tea.
One manufacturer has created a substitute for peat moss for gardeners concerned about the harmful effects peat harvesting has on the environment.
A watering system that uses rainwater and is powered by solar energy appeals to customers who value sustainability and efficiency.
Portability is a trend in grilling. Color and style are also important, as is multifunction.
Manufacturers were looking for ways to offer sustainable products, such as fireplace logs made from coffee grounds.
Cook inside or outside; customers want options and this movable cart can be used in either place. Customers cooking outdoors also want a more gourmet experience with all the conveniences of an indoor kitchen.
Grilling vendors are adapting their products to urban living. Trending designs are sleek and colorful.
Containers for container gardening need to be functional and attractive. There were several vendors offering small greenhouses that can be used on the patio or balcony.
This display uses mirrors on the floor and ceiling for a dramatic effect that seems to enlarge the space around it. Hanging plants represent one of the strongest growing areas in live goods.
Outdoor dining options available at spoga+gafa included customized furniture for outdoor dining, including tables that used stone inlays. There is still a market for high-end furniture in the outdoor living category.
When merchandising lawn and garden, think of ways to appeal to a particular lifestyle or outdoor scenario. Feed the customer's imagination with ideas for setting up an outdoor space.