Coronavirus can’t stop the Salone

The decision to postpone the event in Milan to mid-June is a conscious response from FederlegnoArredo Eventi to the Coronavirus with the aim of supporting the world’s most important furniture fair

Salone del Mobile.MIlano
Salone del Mobile.MIlano 2019. Photo © Courtesy of Salone del Mobile

After the official announcement  given on February 25th, with the important endorsement of the mayor of Milan Beppe Sala, Emanuele Orsini (President of FederlegnoArredo Eventi) and Claudio Luti (President of Salone del Mobile) welcomed the press this morning for an initial discussion after the decision to put an end to the worries about the possibility of holding the Salone on the scheduled dates of 16-21 June.

Now there is a major gap to fill between saying and doing, but what counts is the courage to take a positive stance on the part of the board of directors of FederlegnoArredo Eventi – in spite of contrasting internal positions – not to be guided by a negative situation, but to take back control of it.

The news regarding the Coronavirus arriving from China (IFDM has been in touch with its branch office in Beijing) indicate improvement, with a speedy rebound of the system of production and commerce. From Monday, 2 March most shops and showrooms reopen to the public in Shanghai and in the main retail hubs.

This morning the focus was not on “good will” but on a choice that takes many aspects into account: the spread of the virus is slowing, the furnishings sector represents over 42.5 billion euros in sales, produced by over 80,000 companies that employ 360,000 people, not to mention the economic influx of the Salone del Mobile.Milano in terms of hospitality and travel.

The statements by Emanuele Orsini and Claudio Luti

Emanuele Orsini emphasized that “it is fundamental to involve all the parties, to share in both duties and honors: the institutions (starting with the government) to which to address requests for support in economic terms, the hotels (as mayor Sala emphasized) who will be asked to evaluate the moment and the context to facilitate the shift in terms of pricing, and of course the entire chain of the world of furnishings, starting with the manufacturers.”

Claudio Luti has underlined how in spite of facile rhetoric, in this moment a systemic approach is necessary to guide the sector out of this situation. The Salone del Mobile will develop suitable initiatives to meet the needs of exhibitors. The first one is a two-months payment deferral for the participation balance originally due in these days.