Gerald Socher, managing director of GIGA International
Especially in times of crisis, members can profit from the strengths and advantages of agile associations. GIGA International, as one of the highest performing procurement and service associations of the medium-sized furniture retail business in Europe, has impressively demonstrated this in recent weeks and months. We spoke with Mr Socher, the managing director of the association, who was available right at the start of our new short interview series "Meet Our Visitors".
Dear Mr Socher, we, as a trade fair organiser, just like our partners, are noticing that the corona crisis has provided us with a clear push and an even clearer view of our digital competence. What influence have the past weeks and months had on the digitalisation of your members?
Socher: Online commerce has continued to develop at a completely new level for our members in this very short period of time with regard to sales, data needs and in-house support. This was and remains a great challenge to all digital departments, which has been impressively mastered up to now.
What was the time used for while the shops were closed? Were the companies also able to take something "positive" with them from the crisis?
Socher: One could surely initially for the most part speak of a deceleration. This ostensibly "forced rest" is, however, successively being caught up with or even surpassed by the new requirements relating to the circumstances of this critical situation. Parallel with this, smaller conversions and general improvements of our sales areas could be realised. Measures for which there is often no time in the course of daily business due to high customer demand.
What do you expect from this year's visit to the trade fair?
Socher: It is important to our members to for the first time at least partially once again come into contact with existing suppliers as well as with new partners. It is thus important to us to once again meet with the industry in familiar dimensions in Cologne.
Dear Mr Socher, many thanks for your time.We look forward to being able to welcome you to spoga+gafa in Cologne from 6 to 8 September 2020.