Page 6 - HGR May
P. 6


Japan joins rush
to MIFF 2016

     ‘The first to swim                      ed to help pass judgment on the quality      forms and in so doing unite the online to
                                             and marketability of the merchandise on      offline(020) trade buying experience, add-
   leads the way’! That                      display and indicate how effectively each    ing value to buyers and exhibitors alike,
                                             stand/booth accomplished it’s market-        perhaps especially to ‘boutique’ buyers
     is the axiomatic                        ing job. This article however is not on the  looking for unique products. Technology
                                             judging procedures and results but really    is undoubtedly changing the world as
     and encouraging                         a report back on what visitors and buy-      we knew it. Another cause for excite-
                                             ers from around the world experienced at     ment was the presence for the very first
  sentiment which the                        MIFF 2016. Over 500 exhibitors from 15       time of Japan’s finest quality furniture.
                                             different countries displayed their mer-     Japanese buyers have always found
   annual MALAYSIAN                          chandise and these included Malaysia,        reason to visit MIFF but Japanese manu-
                                             China, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Japan,      facturers have hitherto been reluctant
     INTERNATIONAL                           India, Italy, Vietnam, Finland, France,      to follow suit. This year however, Japan’s
                                             USA, Hong Kong, Spain and Turkey. 20%        globally renowned MITSUI Designtec – an
    FURNITURE FAIR’S                         of exhibitors were new who had never         interiors solution provider – gathered
                                             previously participated at MIFF and this     together six of Japan’s iconic manu-
       (MIFF’S) own                          growth and display of dynamic market-        facturers and placed them together in
                                             ing insights showed the way forward for      one superlative stand. Mitsui called this
  newspaper welcomed                         this industry. And inevitably attracted      bringing the ‘essence of Japan’ to MIFF
                                             the attention of Alibaba B2B the world’s     2016 and to global attention. Magnificent
   the opening of MIFF                       leading online wholesale trading plat-       designs, superb craftsmanship displayed
                                             form. In December last year a strategic      in a typical ‘less is more’ Japanese aes-
            2016.                            alliance was announced between UBM           thetic, guaranteed wave after wave of
                                             and Alibaba B2B and this partnership         admiring visitors.
Held from 1 March through to 5 March,        was formally unveiled at MIFF 2016.
this annual furniture fest held in Ma-                                                      The show attracted approximately
laysia’s exciting capital, Kuala Lumpur,      ”The show                                   20 000 buyers with 5340 being from
marks the opening of the furniture buy-       attracted                                   outside Malaysia. First timers amongst
ing season in Asia. But more than that        approximately                               the foreign buyers increased by about
– from its early beginnings as a relatively   20 000 buyers                               30% and these originated from 130
small and provincial show, MIFF has           with 5340 being                             countries including from Europe, North
grown into the number one furniture           from outside                                America (Mexico, Canada and US), the Far
fair in South East Asia. And globally it      Malaysia...”                                East (China, Japan, Korea and Austral-
now ranks in the Top Ten. And this year                                                   asia (Australia and New Zealand). Other
the show was bigger than ever grossing         According to UBM this alliance will ex-    buyers hailed from Vietnam, Singapore,
some US$ 875 million in sales                plore opportunities that will connect the    Phillipines, India, Middle East, South Af-
                                             B2B online and face to face trading plat-    rica and Indonesia. We naturally solicited
  It is a formidable achievement and                                                      reactions and comments from various of
owes much to the organisational and                                                       these international buyers and did not
marketing capabilities of UBM Malaysia.                                                   receive (surprisingly) even one negative
UBM runs the show under the aegis of                                                      comment. An Australian buyer from a
MIFF founder and chairman Dato Tan                                                        large Australian group insisted that she
Chin Huat, the visionary who started it                                                   had found ‘wonderful modern colours,
                                                                                                                       PAGE 5 4
  As has been the case for the past de-
cade, HGR in the person of it’s publisher
and editor-in-chief was invited to join
the international panel of judges recruit-

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