Posted October 24, 2017

International Hardware Fair builds on strong construction economy 

Cologne, Germany's tool mega show is set for March 4 to 7, 2018.

The coming EISENWARENMESSE - International Hardware Fair Cologne is being held in Cologne under the motto "work hard - rock hard" from 4 to 7 March 2018.

Exhibitors of Tools, Industrial Supply, Fasteners and Fixings, Fittings and Home Improvement categories will be presenting innovative new products over the four days of the fair.

Five months before the trade fair begins it is time to take a look at the mood within the sector. The industry and trade were able to record in some cases considerable growth in the first months of 2017 compared to 2016.

The German economy has every reason to be positive. In many sections the situation is currently developing better than forecasted at the beginning of the year. The mainstream construction trade is setting real records and even has capacity problems.

The sectors that are exhibiting at EISENWARENMESSE - International Hardware Fair Cologne can also announce satisfactory results. For instance, tools sales in Germany increased by 7.2 percent compared to the first six months of 2016.

According to the German Tool Manufacturers Association (FWI) primarily larger impulses from the domestic economy contributed to this growth. Domestic demand for German tools rose by 9.7 percent in the first six months of the year. German manufacturers also increased their export by 7.7 percent.

According to estimates by the FWI, tool exports amounted to 4 billion Euros in 2016. In the first half of 2017, the exports increased by 3 percent compared to the same period of 2016.

Accounting for around 72.5 percent of the total exports, Europe is the most important target region for the German tool manufacturers. Alone 59 percent of the total exports went to EU member states in the first half of 2017.

The Central Association of the Hardware Trade e.V. (ZHH) registered a positive development for its organised specialised tool dealers. However, the individual commodity groups are assessed very differently, so that there is no uniform picture after the first six months of 2017. Dealers see positive trends in many sections, for example a growth of around 1.4 percent compared to the previous year for hand tools.

The sales of electrical tools increased by 0.8 percent, the sales of accessories by 0.6 percent. Sections such as work safety (3.6 percent), precision tools (2.2 percent) and industry supplies (2.7 percent) were able to record significantly stronger growth. According to the ZHH, the ongoing strong construction economy and the upswing in the trade, definitely contributed towards this favourable development.

The development at the Wuppertal Purchasing Office of the German Hardware Dealers, E/D/E, which published its business development report on 31.7.2017, was similar. According to which the trade volume rose by 8.8 percent, primarily due to positive developments in the steel and building services sectors.

Precision tools, hand tools and machines experienced a growth of 2.6 percent, electrical tools with building appliances, factory equipment and welding technology increased by 0.6 percent. Work safety increased by 7.5 percent.

The Nordwest Handel AG has  published its figures for the first three quarters of the year 2017. In total, the association grew by 15.5 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. Positive developments in the steel and building technology sectors and new trading partners contributed to this result. Due to a significant turnover expansion, particularly in the third quarter, the growth rate for the building/trade/industry business section was 7.2 percent.

The German DIY store trade achieved an overall gross turnover of 9.59 billion Euros in the first half year and thus closed the first six months with a 1.6 percent increase in turnover compared to the previous year. The high-turnover first quarter is hereby mainly responsible for the positive result of the industry, according to the Construction, Home Improvement and Garden Trade Association e.V. (BHB). After a very good start to the year with a 5.4 percent increase in the first quarter, according to the BHB the weather in the traditionally highest-revenue months April and May slowed down the development in the second quarter. Added to this there were fewer sales days compared to the previous year.

"Looking beyond the European market, growth is rather reserved," said John W. Herbert, General Secretary European DIY Retail Association (EDRA). "Eastern countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria fared better, whereas Russia is still feeling the effects of the sanctions and the turnovers in France are slightly down compared to 2016. Nevertheless from a global perspective, the DIY trade has been recording a slight increase in turnover for years. As such, this section is still one of the pioneers in the retail trade."

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