Should You Visit Maison Objet? Listen to Ally

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It's in Paris - What can be bad....

For American buyers, it’s a big decision on whether to incur the expense of traveling to Paris to attend Maison Objet.  Bill and I have been exhibiting at M&O for the past 10 years and we have observed trends both good and bad.

Let me start off by saying there are few trade fairs world-wide that are as comprehensive and quality driven as M&O.  NY NOW and Atlanta Mart pale in comparison to M&O – and frankly I would rather be in Paris than Atlanta.  Having said that, I understand  you need to view the new collections from existing suppliers and place orders.  But with Maison Objet, you will find unique products and discover new trends from a completely different set of manufacturers.  If you are buying linens/towels – the rear of  Hall 5A is devoted to the category.  There tend to be smaller suppliers from Italy, Portugal and Turkey (approx. 125). 

Go to www.maison-objet.com to do a search on linen exhibitors.  Does it make sense for you?  If you are also buying lifestyle – than M&O is a must!

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Some quick facts:

  • 77,000 visitors from 149 countries over 5 days
  • 48% retail stores/30% interior design
  • 3137 international exhibitors from 69 countries

Once you decide to visit Paris, you will need to choose between the Jan show and Sept show.  Years ago, there was very little difference between the two, but as budgets were slashed – exhibitors began cutting out the Sept show.  Which is unfortunate since Paris is absolutely wonderful in September.  The flowers are in full bloom at Luxembourg Gardens and the Parisians are dining (without heat lamps) outside at every moment possible. It really is glorious.  This year for the first time, Hall 8 was closed at Parc des Exposition due to the number of exhibitors dropping out.  It is still an incredible Fair and Mike + Ally exhibits at both, but unless you have your heart set for Paris in September-  I would recommend the Winter Fair in Jan.

 

If you come in mid January, it will be cold but not ridiculous.  And the best part is that all of Paris is on sale.  I am not talking friends and family 20% but everywhere is 50%.  It truly is a shopping mecca and actually quite reasonable.  Unlike the States, there are more individual boutiques than mall stores and a greater variety of fashion.  Don’t forget to apply for your VAT rebate at the airport.

Tips: 

  • Make sure you have a freight forwarder or consolidator for larger orders. Fed Ex for smaller merchandise is fine.
  • Check the duties and tariffs on your buying category. No surprises.
  • Do not stay at the CDG airport hotel. Do stay in Paris at a hotel near the RER B train.
    It is only a 45 min inexpensive ride.  Or take a taxi.
  • Spend 2 ½ days at the Fair. Then  take 2 days to explore Paris and/or take a trip outside of Paris.

Contact me at Allison@mikeandally.com for additional tips…..

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