Mercanteinfiera beats Covid with an attendance boom of 50.000 visitors from all over Italy. Italians rediscover the living room and set up their office at home
The 40th edition of the Fiere di Parma exhibition of antiques, historic design and collectibles closes with pre-Covid attendance numbers and a strong increase in sales. Italian buyers buy up desks, chairs and chandeliers and international buyers stockpile objects ranging from design to antiques. A general increase in purchases which signals the desire to get ready for a market that is already buzzing.
(Parma, 14 October 2021) – Positive signs were on evidence from the first days, when the Mercanteinfiera aisles filled up with buyers and visitors in pre-Covid numbers. There were many foreign buyers (over 5,000), prevalently Russian, Turkish and French, but also many Italian ones. The latter, according to the exhibitors – over 1,000 of them, spread out over four pavilions – were again buying home furniture.
A boom in sales of chairs, cupboards, chandeliers, wardrobes and study (and smart working) furnishings, such as desks, is the result, again according to insiders, of the months spent mostly at home, when one’s living space was experienced from a new perspective and in relation to new needs: the living room and the dining room, for example, are once again open to family and friends. And so they need a makeover. But there were also countless purchases by foreign buyers, a sign of the need to “stockpile” at a time when the market is buzzing.
«An increase in sales, with an interested and motivated public that is buying more than in the past – underlines Ilaria Dazzi, Brand Manager of Mercanteinfiera-. This is due to the overall improvement in the quality of the goods on display and to a greater focus on an even larger, more structured and carefully selected commercial range. There is, in short, great interest at the international level, with exhibitors who have obviously succeeded in grasping the mood of the buyers».
This was also shown by the diversity of the pieces brought by antiquarians and modern antiques and vintage experts, who chose to display rare and impressive pieces. Visitors were able to admire, a short distance from one another, a 16th-century Ming dynasty statuette and a late 19th-century telescope, an early 20th-century travel globe, and a 1947 refrigerated counter from the United States. Also, the original Captain America and Thor hardcover comic books, a limited edition chair by Gaetano Pesce, the “Crazy Horse” table by Ettore Sottsass, and visual art works by Marco Lodola. As well as 1980s Gucci mini clutches, Chanel pendants, and huge Luis Vuitton trunks made for an Ottoman sultan in the 1930s.
The essence of Mercanteinfiera, human exchange, was in evidence in the way exhibitors welcomed visitors to their stands to speak about their pieces – or themselves – thus bringing the objects, their history, and their uniqueness to life.
That is same attitude that motivated some collectors, enthusiastic about the collateral show on the History of the Tie, to meet the organizers and express their intention to give pieces to be displayed at the Como Silk Museum. While others simply had fun using the consoles in the video game exhibition, in a “new” kind of gaming experience for the younger visitors and an “evocative” one for the older players.
These results reward the work of Fiere di Parma and confirm the way forward for the future: “keeping quality standards high – concludes Dazzi – is what will keep increasingly demanding visitors and buyers coming”.