Blum unveils digital Interzum platform and reports good if ‘challenging’ 2020

Furniture fittings specialist Blum today unveiled its digital experience for the Interzum trade fair on May 4-7.

The furniture trade show is taking place as a digital-only event this year and Blum will be showcasing its latest innovations to its customers on its Blum Connects digital experience platform.

Details of the new platform for Interzum were announced today (Wednesday) in a virtual press conference streamed from Austria.

Addressing the conference, Blum Group managing director Philipp Blum said: “Our trade show format not only offers virtual presentations, but also allows us to engage in active dialogue with our customers and partners. Personal conversation plays a key role in this context.”

The special, interconnected format will feature 130 videos in 28 languages and will be broadcast from its studios in Feldkirch.

Blum added: “We at Blum see challenging times as an opportunity and that is why we have come up with Blum Connects, a platform that enables us to exchange conversations even in the virtual world.

“We are here in a specially adapted hall with a 900sq m fair booth and six cameras, film directors, sound, lights and IT experts and I hope we can capture the special atmosphere. And if we all do a good job, it will be a good advertisement for the next Interzum in two years’ time, when we will be able to welcome our customers to our booth in Cologne again.”

Blum Revego

At the same time, Blum admitted there was still no substitute for hands-on experience of the products and said that this is why they will be welcoming their customers to visit their 65 worldwide subsidiaries to see them in person, “circumstances permitting”.

Blum also spoke of “challenging times” over the past year, but announced a “consistent level of turnover” for the financial year to June 30 of €1.9 billion (£1.64bn). He said Blum had benefited from market catch-up effects after the lockdowns in various markets and that this trend is ongoing.

Addressing the question of maintaining supplies in the current climate, he explained how the company had implemented measures to “secure ongoing production for our customers”, but admitted that “things are far from easy”. He added: “The sharp increase in orders in summer 20 has put great pressure on us and the entire supply chain. We have been able to increase significantly product output over the past few months, nevertheless we still face countless challenges. The impact on transport and international supply chains, bottlenecks and increases in raw material prices, especially that of steel, are just some of the issues we have had to deal with on a daily basis. But we have been able to maintain satisfactory delivery times.”

Fielding a question at the end of the presentation as to whether he felt the deliver situation was satisfactory, Blum answered: “The increase in demand has put a lot of pressure on us since last summer. We are doing our utmost to increase our output and we have achieved an increase in output, but at the same time we still have a bottleneck in terms of raw materials. We believe we have done a satisfactory job up until now, but of course it will be far easier for us if the supply chain would become more stable and the situation would ease.”

The press conference also outlined the new products visitors to Blum Connects at Interzum will see. These include extending its Aventos Lift family with the addition of new Aventos Top versions to include systems for folding, swivelling and lifting. The pared-back design is said to integrate discreetly into any furniture. It is also adding the new Aventos HKi, which is slim enough to be fully integrated into a cabinet side with a panel thickness of 16mm or more.

New too will be the Merivobox platform, which makes it possible to create a broad range of drawers from just a few components. Its new L-shaped runner system is also said to ensure high stability.

Blum Aventos

Blum also unveiled the new Revego pocket system that use doors to conceal kitchen units or even entire living areas. It is said to open up new design possibilities for small and large rooms. It is available in single-door, or double-door formats, covering a range of widths from 450mm to 750mm and heights from 1,800mm to 2,500mm.

Blum will also devote an area to smart home solutions, specifically two showcasing illuminated pull-outs and a USB-C port. The USB port will allow the charging of laptops, tablets and smartphones as well as battery-powered kitchen utensils and electric shavers.

Acknowledging the trend for dark colours, Blum will also be introducing a range of dark fittings. The Aventos lift system gets dark grey cover caps, while there are Clip top Blumotion hinges in onyx black and Legrabox pull-outs in carbon matt black. The range of Legrabox products will also be featured. From the MyLegrabox range, manufacturers can use three designs levels to meet their needs with a wide range of personalisation options.

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