September’s Interior Lifestyle China held during peak fair season and amongst a growing domestic market
Aug 10, 2017

China’s only international trade fair focusing solely on mid-range and high-end interior design and lifestyle products returns next month, with exhibitors set to benefit from a slightly earlier date that falls within the industry’s peak trade fair season, as well as a growing domestic market that is only increasing in potential. Interior Lifestyle China will welcome around 400 exhibitors from 14 – 16 September, a period that coincides with two major furniture fairs that draw over 100,000 trade buyers to the city.

The fair will also take place in a new venue: the Shanghai Exhibition Center which is located in the heart of the city and boasts an ambience that matches the fair's high-end lifestyle focus.

The three forces driving growth in the Chinese market

The consumer goods market in China continues to grow strongly, with year-on-year growth of retail sales averaging 10.4% in 20161. It’s not just in the present that there is room for optimism though – according to a report by The Boston Consulting Group, there are three main forces driving change in China’s consumer market. The first is upward mobility, or the rise of the upper-middle and affluent classes, which includes consumers whose annual household income exceeds USD 24,000, a group which the report predicts will total 100 million households by 2020. From 2015 to 2020, the consumption CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of these two classes will grow by 17%, compared to 9% for the country as a whole. During this same time, 81% of consumption growth in China will come from these households.

The second force is a generational shift – the emergence of Chinese millennials, those aged 18 to 35, who are freer-spending on lifestyle products and more likely to buy Western brands than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations. The consumption CAGR to 2020 for this age group is predicted to be 14%, compared to just 7% for those aged 36 and older.

The third force is the increasingly powerful role e-commerce is playing in China. In 2017, the country is predicted to account for more than 50% of the world’s online retail market2. This lead in the global B2C commerce field comes despite Internet penetration of only 53.2% in 2016, indicating there is still much more potential to be realised in online sales. According to the BCG analysis, online consumption CAGR to 2020 is expected to be 20%. Further evidence of the potential of online comes from Tmall, China’s largest B2C online retail marketplace which is owned by e-commerce giant the Alibaba Group. They note that the online homeware market size is around USD 15 billion, and is one of the fastest growing categories across their entire platform. This is particularly true for international brands, which in the year to March 2016, grew twice as fast year-on-year as the homeware category average.

As the consumer goods industry matures in China, online and offline are increasingly becoming complements to each other. As a dynamic trade platform, Interior Lifestyle China is constantly evolving to assist overseas brands to take advantage of both these channels, as well as the huge e-commerce potential in the country. This edition, the fair has targeted more buyers from the growing e-tailer sector, while exhibitors will also be offered assistance in setting up online distribution channels through seminars and the business matching programme. The fair’s fringe programme will also include multiple events showcasing the latest trends and technologies in the Chinese retail market.

Interior Lifestyle China 2017 is organised by Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd. For more information about the fair, please visit


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