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Spoga+Gafa Features Competitive Lumberjacks and Aerial Dining

Visitors from around the world began gathering this past weekend in Cologne, Germany, to attend spoga+gafa 2015, where more than 2,000 lawn, garden and outdoor living suppliers were on hand to greet them.

The event, which runs from Aug. 30 through Sept. 1, features more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space from across four unique segments of the lawn and garden category: garden living, garden creation and care, garden barbecue and fun and garden unique.

“I am just thoroughly impressed with the size and scope of this show,” says Adam Busscher, owner of Picton Home Hardware in Ontario. “Everything is just first class when it comes to the products and displays. I am seeing so many things that I just never would have gotten the opportunity to see otherwise.”

Busscher was just one of the growing number of international visitors on hand to attend spoga+gafa 2015. An increasing number of international attendees are coming to the event as the exhibitor base takes on a more global feel, according to show organizers.

Katharina Hamma, CEO for Koelnmesse, which produces the event, says that 80 percent of the exhibitors come from outside Germany. “Spoga+gafa unites a worldwide, unique top offer(ing) of garden products,” she says.

Products on display ranged from the latest in outdoor cooking devices to truly unique furniture, shelters and more.

Just some of the items that caught attendees’ attention included an outdoor fire pit from Jokjor International that comes delivered in a flat-pack box. The fire pit mixes a vintage and modern feel and is easy to assemble. In addition, because it is flat packed, the fire pit can be easily stocked on retailers’ shelves.

Another trend spotted at the show was consumers’ apparent willingness to spend more and more on their outdoor spaces. Outdoor kitchens costing in excess of $25,000, patio furniture made from reclaimed wood and slate and other high-end items made it evident that the luxury consumer continues to make an impact on the lawn and garden category.

On the first day of the show, consumers were welcome to attend some areas of the event to browse products, watch demonstrations and sample barbecued foods.

One of the most notable exhibits in the outdoor area of the show, which was open to consumers, came courtesy of Weber and was called Grilling in the Sky. For a minimal cost, show guests could strap themselves to a dining table that was then hoisted more than 40 yards into the air. Once the table reached full height, guests would dine on pulled pork and other barbecue treats grilled up by a Weber Grill Master.

Stihl also hosted the German Championships of its Timbersports Series on Sunday, where the country’s top lumberjacks competed in a range of events.

Spoga+gafa is the world’s trade show dedicated to the lawn, garden and outdoor living categories. The annual event is open to trade visitors from around the world.

About Dan Tratensek

In his position as publisher of Hardware Retailing magazine, Dan has the opportunity to visit with independent retailers of all types and sizes and use these visits to shape the editorial direction of the magazine to meet the needs of the independent hardware retail market. Dan also oversees NRHA’s other publishing projects, which include a range of special interest publications, contract publishing titles, online content and more. Dan formerly worked as an editor and reporter for Hardware Retailing and has been involved in business journalism and news reporting for the past two decades

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