Hansgrohe has pulled out of ISH, the biggest bathroom trade exhibition in Europe, over fears that the coronavirus situation is not yet under control.
The move is another blow to organiser Messe Frankfurt after Grohe withdrew its support for the event in July.
In a statement, the company says the decision was reached after “an intense analysis of the global situation” and that it wasn’t possible to assess the spread of the virus – particularly considering the international make-up of the ISH audience.
Christophe Gourlan, chief sales officer and executive board member of Hansgrohe SE said: “We absolutely did not make this decision lightly, but the protection of the health of our customers and our employees is our top priority”.
Only a couple of weeks after Grohe’s withdrawal, Hansgrohe chairman Hans Juergen Kalmbach said the company was still planning its appearance at the show.
Grohe directly criticised the safety plans being implemented by Messe Frankfurt but Hansgrohe does not go that far and, in fact, makes a point of extolling the virtues of trade fairs in general.
“We regret this very much because a trade fair lives from real product experiences, and, also from personal conversations with our customers”, Gourlan said. “However, this is not possible in the current situation”.
“Even though digitalisation is becoming more and more important in our everyday lives, trade fairs remain an important part of our exchange with installers and the trade.”
Hansgrohe says all product launches planned for 2021 will go ahead across all markets.