After record-breaking numbers last year, the world’s most hotly-anticipated furniture and design fair, Salone del Mobile, has been pushed back two months. Due to take place (as always) during Milan Design Week at the end of April, organisers have rescheduled the industry’s benchmark event until June 16th – 21st 2020, amidst the ongoing coronavirus concern. It’s a strong move that has received support from the Mayor of Milan:

“Confirmation of the change of date for the trade fair – strongly supported by the mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala – means that the manufacturers, in a major show of responsibility, will be able to present their finalised work to an international public that sees the annual appointment with the salone del mobile.milano as a benchmark for creativity and design.’ [Salone del Mobile, February 25th)

Italy is the current European epicentre of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), which began spreading globally in January. While Milan has not come to a complete standstill, the streets are empty and people are being asked to work from home.

Milan and the wider Lombardy region are the economic beating heart of Italy, with Salone del Mobile playing a crucial role on the country’s annual agenda. Visitors were up 12% in 2019, with a record attendance of 386,236 visitors from 181 countries and 2,418 exhibitors (34% foreign from 43 countries).

Salone del Mobile Milano (Image: 2018)

Milan’s mayor Giuseppe Sala commented on the need for community and calm:

“…I am calling on our colleagues in the furnishing sector and the Salone del Mobile to pull together to make sure Milan doesn’t grind to a halt. We need to work objectively to stop this virus spreading, but we must also take care not to spread the virus of distrust. Milan has to carry on. So I would like to thank them all for this proof of confidence, because it’s not easy right now to try to appeal to visitors and convince professionals from all over the world, but I believe this is the right decision.” (Sala via @isaloniofficial)

Sala also asked the Italian government to support the country’s crucial furniture sector, and hoteliers to support the fair through making it more affordable to attend when it runs in June:

“This year we need to be especially careful about how we pitch the price of hotel rooms, because this year will be no ordinary one. Thank you, Milan will be by your side, so it will be a very particular Salone, a Salone in a different month but a great salone to all!”

As the world watches and waits to see how this public health situation resolves itself, we’ll keep you updated on how it is impacting the design industry.

Decor + Design, Australia’s No.1 Interiors Trade Event, will take place as planned from 16th – 19th July at Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Co-located with the Australian International Furniture Fair, this is the industry’s chance to be inspired by trends and buy wholesale closer to home. Register now for free as a trade visitor and start planning your trip to Melbourne.