I have to admit I’m a bit disappointed with this years European Carpet Show, Domotex, which took place from January 16-19 in Hanover, Germany. It’s always fun to visit the show and see old friends and compare notes from the previous year, but this year many of those friends were not in attendance. Consolidation in the industry seems to be weeding out people as well as innovation. I was able to spend time with my favorite vendors and initiated contact with a few new ones. But still, this show left me questioning the future of the industry. China has become a bigger and bigger player while the niche European suppliers are having a tougher time competing. I still hold out hope that creativity will trump price and that my European friends will be able to survive.
For a few months now, we have been working on some new weaves with one of our new European suppliers. I was very encouraged after seeing the first prototypes of these new weaves. If all goes according to plan, we should have some great new product by May 2016.
The overall vibe from the show was positive. It’s great to be able to discuss business with people from all over the world. I am very much looking forward to returning next year to the “World of Flooring,” the trade show’s subtitle.
One bright spot during my stay was waking up Sunday morning in Hanover to 4” of fresh snow. I decided to take the morning off and walk with friends through the Eilenriede (Hanover’s version of Central Park). It was magical!