Lineapelle moves to Milan from 10 to 12 September 2014, but BolognaFiere opposes and launches legal action
The main discussion in Bologna was not about new products, prices and market trends, but exhibition dates and venues.
The main topic at the latest Lineapelle, held for the first time in March and for the last time in Bologna, was in fact the very future of the event itself, which will take place around a month earlier than usual and move to Milan starting from the autumn/winter edition. Drastic changes that, among other things, not all exhibitors agree with. In fact, the earlier date of 10-12 September caused discontent among many exhibitors of soles and components, who believe that discussing the new winter collections with footwear manufacturers only one week from theMicam dedicated to the summer season, is far from a good idea. The main supporters of the decision to bring forward the leather and component fair are naturally tanning companies, especially more structured ones, who work with brands where the deadlines are notoriously tight. In this perspective, there is a prevailing desire to combat the growing power of the rival fair in Paris, which in recent years has grown to become the leading platform for top of the range products.
As for the move to Milan, the decision comes, on the one hand, from the initial reluctance of the Bologna venue to bring forward the fair despite repeated requests by organisers and, on the other hand, by the desire to ensure faster air connections to the fair and better hotel accommodation. According to organisers of the fair, there is no more time to wait. The survival itself of the fair is at stake, which over the past 13 years has seen a 26% drop in exhibitors and a 36% drop in visitors. But BolognaFiere obviously is not prepared to lose such an important event and has announced legal action to contest the vote of the Board of Directors on 25 March 2014 that, with a vote of 6 to 5, decided on the move to Milan without a qualified majority (8 to 11) which, instead, would be required as indicated in the articles of association of Lineapelle spa, of which BolognaFiere is a partner (with a 47.5% stake).
We highlight some of the statements made to the press by Salvatore Mercogliano, Managing Director of Lineapelle and General Manager of UNIC:
The Articles of Association should be interpreted in their entirety. The fair was the first to violate them by not finding dates tailored to the needs of exhibitors.
As for the move to Milan:
The costs for exhibitors will increase by about 10-15% per square meter in proportion to the lustre of the Lombard exhibition district.
Finally, the future:
In 2015, the fair will be held between late February and early March, while the winter edition will take place during the Expo, and we will organise something inside the universal exhibition.
The dates of this edition, however, seem to confirm the bearish trend, with a decrease in foreign visitors, for a total of 18,259 visitors (-3/4%). In general, the event dedicated to the 2015 Spring/Summer has proved to be quite positive, especially for operators in the medium-high segment of the market and in leather goods. The footwear and furniture situation is more sluggish and structured, depending on the specialisations.
In terms of supply, Lineapelle has witnessed a large presence of smooth, natural leather with transparent finishes in line with the requests for cleanliness and perfection.Three-dimensional prints and processes coming from reliefs and embossing are also important. Light-coloured water based paints with different mirrored effects are still going strong.
As for the colours, light and neutral shades complemented by bright, almost acidic tones, are joined by dark neutral shades of grey and blue. There are also saturated and exotic tones inspired by the warm colours of a sunset.
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