Focus Spain. Diversifying and expanding the offer in the name of beauty and sustainability

Focus Spain. Diversifying and expanding the offer in the name of beauty and sustainability

Spanish buyers focus on quality and variety, and look at Milano Home as the ideal trade fair to discover new trends

Digitalization, omnichanneling, diversification, sustainability. These are the main directions along which Spanish outlets are orienting their corporate mission. An adequate capacity for adaptation and innovation is considered essential to give new impetus to activities that also have to deal with the online network, which is not a always competitive tool, but sometimes can be insidious for certain realities and can become an unsustainable competitor.


In order to differentiate and broaden its offering, Milano Home is considered an ideal showcase for quality and product variety. At the same time, the trade fair is also considered as a sort of barometer that can signal new market trends and direct buyers towards targeted purchases.


Milano Home interviewed some of the main players in the Iberian market for a portrait of their business, by asking how domestic demand fluctuates, and what expectations they have for the January event.



El Corte Inglés


Founded in 1935, El Corte Inglés takes its name from a small tailor's shop established in 1890 in Calle Preciados, Madrid. In the 1960s, it started to expand throughout the country with the opening of centres in Barcelona, Seville and Bilbao, and today is a major showcase for national and international brands in all product categories, with roots in Spain and Portugal.


“The demand for household products is very strong”, explained Enrique Pérez Piquero, Head of Purchasing at the Madrid office. “From kitchen utensils, glasses, crockery and cutlery to table decorations, giftware and furnishings, which arouse considerable interest among our customers who are looking for new proposals and solutions to enrich and complete their décor”.


El Corte Inglés is the largest distribution group in Spain and Portugal.


What is the market trend and what are the prospects in the medium term?

“The Spanish market is recovering to pre-pandemic levels - continued Peréz Piquero - we have a very loyal customer base that allows us to consolidate our position of leadership. A diversified but valuable offer is the essential prerogative to sustain growth, a characteristic that is recognised by those who frequent our shops, namely customers with different needs and preferences that we are able to satisfy through a relationship based on trust”.


Piquero looks at Milano Home with confidence and interest.


“Discovering new trends and initiating contact with new brands in the home sector. This is our hope for the Milanese event, a workshop of ideas and proposals for the table and furnishing, as well as a privileged venue to look for new ideas in the world of gifts”.



Trends Home


A fine selection of furniture, homeware, gifts, decoration and textiles from leading European and international brands. This is the offer of Trends Home, which after 30 years of constantly monitoring the best products exhibited in Spanish and world fairs, in 2017 presented itself to the public under its current brand name, offering a range of opportunities thanks to a careful selection of products that represent the expression of the most established brands.


“Demand has evolved and is following market dynamics”, explained Verónica Iboleon Velasco. “Today buyers are very sensitive to the effects of climate change and are moving towards conscious purchasing patterns. Recycling, sustainability and healthy food is the direction taken by our customers”.


Also in Spain, purchasing behaviour is influenced by the Internet. The web is seen as a stage with which to interact in real time from the comfort of one's home or office.


“Demand is increasingly shifting to the online world, thus reducing traffic in physical shops”.


Such behavioural model requires targeted responses, and Milano Home can be a helpful tool to meet the needs of retail outlets.


“We are coming to Milan with great interest, we expect to see new kitchen items, textiles, decorations and gift ideas. Overall, we hope to find a wide selection of environmentally friendly products, given the significant growth in demand for non-polluting items.




For the Alarcón brothers, the founders of Curiosite, the happiest day was many years ago, when on January 6th The Three Wise Men brought them a pirate ship of the Famobil Clicks. “In that era - the late 1970s - it was the best present a child could dream of”. As Juan Sebastián and Emilio Alarcón grew up, they witnessed the development of the Internet, ventured into entrepreneurship, and honed their skills in web development and e-commerce until they created Curiosite.


“A small homage to the tradition of The Three Wise Men”, explained Emilio Alarcón, “a website designed to inspire those who love to give gifts, especially those who find joy in giving. Curiosite aims to be a place where people can find inspiration to keep alive the art of gift-giving”.


In 2008, on September 21st, after being widely appreciated, the two brothers opened a store in downtown Madrid.


“Our aim is to offer a range of gift items that is as comprehensive as possible, so as to impress and capture the attention of our clients. Our customers look for gift products for birthdays, Christmas and special occasions that usually go beyond the usual requests”.


It may sound strange to those who work in the world of the Internet, but Alarcón points out how their in-store presence is growing in spite of online activity.


“Retail trade in Spain is now concentrated in the city centres, and attracts many people eager to shop. It is a form of recreation that allows people to stroll around, enter the physical shop, and relax after their purchase by having a meal out. On the web, competition is becoming more and more difficult, because Amazon has created a sort of monopoly in every sector”.


Also for this reason, Emilio Alarcón has great expectations for Milano Home.


“I hope to find gift products from Italian and European companies, unique items with the ability to impress that are different from other trade fairs”.