22 July 2024, 21:23
By Furniture News Apr 23, 2021

RIP Helmut ‘Max’ Merkel, 1953-2021

This month, the international furniture trade mourned the loss of Helmut ‘Max’ Merkel, a long-time industry consultant and the editor-in-chief of German trade magazine MÖBELMARKT.

Following a short but serious illness, Max passed away on 15th April, at the age of 67.

Max was born in Baden-Baden in 1953, and started his career at trade publisher Euwid before joining MÖBELMARKT in 1988, where he initially worked as deputy editor-in-chief before setting up his own advertising agency in 1992. In 1999, he returned to MÖBELMARKT, and was subsequently appointed editor-in-chief. 

His expertise in this capacity, and as the co-founder and CEO of CRP Consulting, was recognised throughout the international furniture industry. As well as pioneering the first International Furniture Forum Beijing, Max spoke at countless seminars and congresses, and was a valued competition judge and consummate journalist. 

MÖBELMARKT reports: “Max Merkel was valued as a friend and advisor not only by us, but also by many colleagues and business partners around the world beyond his professional involvement. Max Merkel had travel in his blood, and was at home at furniture fairs and markets all over the world. Now he has started his last great journey.”

Representing MÖBELMARKT, Max was a valued member of the International Alliance of Furnishing Publications (IAFP), which welcomed Furniture News on board in 2012.

“Max was a model trade journalist,” says Furniture News’ editor-in-chief, Paul Farley. “He managed to effortlessly combine the roles of storyteller and businessman, while remaining one of the most genuine and genial souls you’ll ever meet.

“To a young(ish) journalist travelling far and wide to cover the big shows, Max was welcoming, warm and wise, yet forever humble – and, as time went by, I came to truly value his friendship. He would embrace every culture, speak truth to power (tactfully), and would never shy away from making an introduction. 

“He was always there for one last drink, even with stories to file. He’d try even the most questionable of foreign cuisine. He’s the guy you’d want to join for a cigarette with – even if you didn’t smoke. He comfortably demonstrated that bonds of business and friendship can be one and the same. 

“Max may have left us far too soon, but he certainly made his mark – and left his innumerable friends and colleagues richer for the experience.”

Max is survived by his wife, Annelore.

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