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At Ambiente, we publish short studies which are highly notable for retailers. These management reports are for free.

Structural change in the German retail sector

Management Report (Structural change in the German retail sector) Cover

The retail sector has undergone huge changes over the past few years. The world around us is developing more and more into one that can be described using an acronym: VUCA. Volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. This is evident in the world of retail in particular with the increasing presence and constant march of digitalisation. Digital business models set new standards with regard to product availability, price transparency, service and advice. The stationary retail trade can and must learn from these if it wants to survive in the long term against online providers.

Last updated: 01/2019

Consumer expenditure in Europe

Consumer expenditure in Europe

A study comparing European markets.

Which European country spends most on fashion accessories? The French? Who digs into their pockets the deepest for coffee machines? The homeland of the barista – Italy? Or perhaps, quite unexpectedly, the Austrians or the Germans? To find answers to these questions, Messe Frankfurt has commissioned the Institute of Retail Research – IFH Retail Consultants – of Cologne. The resulting study has compared consumer expenditure for individual goods categories in 27 EU countries. The results indicate not only the current state of consumption in Europe but also show the trends over the last five years, thus providing an insight into future trends within the EU markets under investigation.

Stand: 02/2017

Oh come all ye faithful ...

Oh come all ye faithful ...

Significance of the Christmas trade for German retailers.

When do we actually see the first Christmas decorations? Already in September? How important really are Christmas sales for the German retail sector? And how has this changed over recent years?

These are the questions posed in the current study. Commissioned by Messe Frankfurt, it was put together by the ‘Institut für Handelsforschung‘, Cologne (IFH Retail Consultants). It provides an insight into the extent to which Christmas sales influence annual sales. In addition, it answers questions, for example, about when the Christmas sales period begins and ends and the way this has changed over recent years. The results of the study are based on different analytical approaches. The collection of basic statistical data on Christmas sales was supplemented by more detailed questioning of retailers in the consumer-goods sectors in Germany.

Stand: 08/2016

Dolce Vita

Dolce Vita

Italian lifestyle as a success factor at the point of sale.

Whether coffee and espresso machines, leather bags, gift articles or culinary delights, products from Italy are constantly recurring items on German shopping lists. And have been so for decades. But how important is Italy really as an import country for Germany? What proportion of its turnover does the German retail trade make with products from the other side of the Alps? And, last but not least, what does the label ‘Made in Italy’ mean for German consumers?

To provide answers to these questions, Messe Frankfurt asked IFH Retail Consultants from Cologne to conduct a survey. The result: Italy is not only one of Germany’s most important trading partners but also a magnet for customers with Mediterranean products leading to greater customer interest and more customers in the shops. Moreover, Italian products and products distinguished by Italian flair have grown in significance at the point of sale over recent years.

Stand: 02/2016

Our everyday companions

Our everyday companions

Study: the market for jewellery, watches and accessories in Germany.

The market for jewellery, watches and personal accessories is continuing to grow Whether it‘s a birthday, wedding or anniversary – there are plenty of reasons for buying and giving jewellery, watches and personal accessories. Consumers find suggestions about things to buy when they are window shopping, or at the jeweller‘s, or from advertising brochures. It is evident, however, that the source of inspiration varies between men and women.

The present study has been commissioned by Messe Frankfurt and drawn up by IFH Retail Consultants of Cologne and GFK Nuremberg. It considers buying and gift-giving patterns for jewellery, watches and accessories in Germany. The study presents the latest market data and forecasts the trends in the market for the next four years.

Stand: 08/2015

Contract business – a growth market

Contract business – a growth market

A study of contract business in Horeca supplies and furnishings.

Changing overall economic conditions and changes in the lifestyles and habits of consumers lead to shifts in the structure of demand. More and more suppliers of consumer goods are reacting to this by extending their commercial product palette and marketing operations aimed at commercial and corporate customers.

In the contract market – and specifically the Horeca market – many consumergoods suppliers have reported significant increases in turnover over the last few years in a number of areas and, according to the findings of the present study, further growth can be expected.

Companies in the hotel and food-service sectors dominate commercial demand here. If we take the three product groups Dining, Living and Giving together, the volume of sales in the domestic German market in the contract business sector is currently of an order of magnitude in the region of two billion Euros. Further growth is forecast for the coming years.

The present study was commissioned by Messe Frankfurt and has been undertaken by the ifo Institute. It covers the product groups Dining, Living and Giving at the Ambiente.

Stand: 02/2015

Service, please!

Service, please!

Digital and stationary services in the retail trade.

It's the seventh time, Messe Frankfurt has published a Management Report within its consumer goods fairs. This year's report focuses on "Digital and stationary services in the retail trade".

Along with a large number of classical services, such as expert advice or a clearly structured product range, retailers are increasingly supplementing their services by adding digital components.

But, among the various different stages of shopping, which services are relevant at all and which offer the consumer genuine added value? How can retailers exploit the competitive edge which services bring them and gain new customers while expanding existing customer relations? Answers to these questions are given in the Management Report entitled "Service, please! Digital and stationary services in the retail trade".

The present study was commissioned by Messe Frankfurt GmbH and produced in collaboration with the Cologne E-Commerce Centre (ECC Köln) and the Cologne Institute of Retail Research (IFH Köln).

Stand: 08/2014


Attractive extras – success through supplementary product ranges

Attractive extras – success through supplementary product ranges

In modern retailing supplementary product ranges create that certain something when it comes to customer acquisition, approaching new target groups and impulse buying. But what has the trend been over the last decade in the home and interior segment for supplementary product lines, for instance decorative products, home textiles, stationery, jewellery and watches? How are retailers from the furniture and GCC segments currently dealing with this important topic?

Messe Frankfurt wanted to know exactly and commissioned the IFH market-research institute from Cologne. The finding: supplementary ranges have increased continuously in importance over recent years and this trend will continue to gather pace with regard to the internet.

Stand: 02/2014

The key to success

The key to success

A study on the importance of window dressing in the retail trade.

The study shows that shop windows continue to gain in significance for the retail trade as a source of information and inspiration for customers.

At around € 80 million, expenditure on window dressing represents about two percent of the marketing costs of the relevant segments of the German retail trade.

A big impact for little outlay is how the retailers polled see the subject of window dressing whereby an emotional sales approach represents a good opportunity for the bricks and mortar business.

Stand: 08/2013

Germany lays the table

Germany lays the table

A study of eating habits and refined dining.

What is the status of cultivated dining at table in Germany? Where, when and with whom do the Germans prefer to eat? How significant is a beautifully laid table in this respect? And no less an important question: Where do the Germans acquire their porcelain, cutlery and glasses for use at home?

Messe Frankfurt, together with the GfK Consumer Research Association [Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung], explored this question in depth by means of a representative survey. The findings: the Germans best of all like to eat at home and prefer the midday meal as their main meal.

As ever, eating together as a family still ranks very high. People eat – if time permits – with the table laid for the meal. In addition to the above, the reader will discover what for the Germans is the ‘perfectly’ laid table and that for consumers the specialist trade is a ‘must’ when it comes to buying porcelain, glassware and cutlery.

Stand: 02/2013

It‘s individuality that counts

It‘s individuality that counts

A study of furnishing and decorating in Germany.

What is the significance of furnishing and decorating in Germany? Messe Frankfurt sought answers to this question with the current study entitled “Individuality is the main thing – a study on furnishing and decoration in Germany”.

The results: for 20 to 30 year-olds, furnishing the home is primarily a way of giving  expression to their individuality. By contrast, the focus for 50 to 60 year-olds is on product quality and sustainability. Additionally, the report reveals the preferences on which these needs are based, how the trade can benefit from them and and why attractive window dressing and the retail trade are so important when it comes to buying home accessories.

Stand: 08/2012

How Germany shops

How Germany shops

Private consumption is an important cornerstone of domestic business activity and, therefore, the German economy as a whole. But what do Germans spend their money on?

Messe Frankfurt wanted to know in detail and asked the renowned forsa market-research institute to find out by conducting a representative survey.

According to the results, the Germans are a nation of impulse buyers who like to treat themselves by adding to their home furnishings. All in all, the survey results indicate that 2012 will be a good year for the sector and the retail trade.

Stand: 04/2012

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