The mood of the international shoe sector is quietly optimistic. This was demonstrated at the shoe fairs GDS – International Event for Shoes & Accessories and GLOBAL SHOES – leading trade show for sourcing that closed their doors on Sunday. According to provisional estimates, a total of approx. 28,500 buyers from 82 countries found their way to the three-day events held at the Dьsseldorf exhibition centre (11 to 13 September 2009).
6,400 of these also visited GLOBAL SHOES. Visitors included many renowned retail stores such as Apropos (Cologne), Betsy Palmer (Amsterdam), Breuninger (Stuttgart), Deichmann (Essen), Gцrtz (Hamburg), KaDeWe (Berlin), Office (London), Prange (Dьsseldorf) and Stiefelkцnig (Graz).
One in two buyers came here from abroad (82 countries, the top 5 being Benelux, Italy, Great Britain, Spain and France). At the same time, GDS and GLOBAL SHOES were once again able to significantly extend their reach within Germany also welcoming more buyers here with decision-making powers. 93% of visitors rated GDS good to very good.It was primarily the range presented, the proximity to current trends, the seminar programme at the new Speakers Lounge as well as the fashion shows that went down particularly well.
“We are very satisfied with the way GDS and GLOBAL SHOES went. Over the last three days both events presented themselves as reliable fixtures in unsettled times,” explained Director Kirstin Deutelmoser at the end of both fairs. “The pooling of the individual lifestyle worlds and the extension of the information programme for retail have proven good steps to take. Strong premium and quality brands have continued to bank on GDS. At the same time, buyers were able to discover many new brands. This combination of brand variety and information gives GDS its appeal.” Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, CEO at Messe Dьsseldorf, added: “The fairs have shown that the shoe sector still feels very much at home in Dьsseldorf even after over 50 years. And to ensure this continues to be the case we intend to develop GDS and GLOBAL SHOES further, continually adapting them to changing market circumstances.”
Echoing the views of German exhibitors Ralph Rieker, Chairman of shoe industry association HDS – Bundesverband der Schuhindustrie, summed up how the fair went: “The dark clouds of the economic crisis are slowly starting to clear. The shoe industry is still here. And thankfully the buyers are still here, too. Instead of the anticipated reticence it has primarily been small and medium-sized shoe stores that have placed orders. This is a good sign. GDS has managed to fulfil or even exceed the expectations of most exhibitors in these unsettled times and has therefore been able to consolidate its position in the international shoe business.”
Commenting on the significance of GDS for Spanish shoe producers Javier Garcia Lillo from the Spanish shoe federation FICE said: “Over the past few seasons GDS has developed from a classic shoe fair into a spectacular event with very high fashion standards. I know of no other