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Good Mood at the Düsseldorf Shoe Fairs

Image“The new concepts have restored GDS to its former glory. The path chosen is the right one and should be pursued further.” Exhibitors and visitors at the ‘GDS/GLS – International Event for Shoes, Leather Goods & More’ and ‘global shoes & accessories’ fairs that drew to a close on Sunday were largely unanimous: Düsseldorf has regained importance in the international shoe and leather goods industry.

Boasting 1,358 exhibitors and over 33,000 visitors from 63 countries the trade fair location of Düsseldorf last weekend (9 to 11 March) became the centre of the international shoe sector. 

Sector welcomes Conceptual Changes

Visitor numbers rose by 5% over last year’s event. One third of buyers were new to the fair and over half came from abroad. Alongside the Benelux states, Great Britain, Austria, Spain, France, Italy and Greece, the most important countries attending also included Poland, Russia and the USA. The quality of visitors also rose slightly again: over three quarters were managers with a key say in purchasing decisions.

“The sector has seen a lot happening in Düsseldorf over the past few seasons,” explained GDS Project Director Kirstin Deutelmoser on the last day of the fair.

Image“The expansion of our premium concepts is now bearing fruit. For a growing number of high-quality brands Düsseldorf has once again become a serious alternative. And these developments have obviously not gone unnoticed in the international retail trade. I am confident GDS has managed to turn the tide in trends.”

Almost 90% of visitors in a representative visitors survey said they were satisfied to very satisfied with the Düsseldorf shoe and leather goods fairs as a whole. In their view GDS/GLS and global shoes once again presented all key current trends. The range on display was rated even more positively than last time – with these ratings rising now for the fourth time in a row.

GDS scores Points in the Premium Segment and with Young Fashion

It was particularly in the top style segment that GDS was able to score further points. After a 30% increase last season, the number of exhibitors in the exclusive segment rose again by one third. International designer labels and progressive highfashion brands in the premium segments ‘white cubes – contemporary design’, ‘prime square’ and ‘b...cube’ presented state-of-the-art shoes and bags in an exclusive environment. Exhibiting in the white cubes segment alongside the likes of Hugo Boss and others Yvonne Piu echoed this mood saying: “Our stand was well attended from Friday to Sunday. We were able to welcome all top buyers, even including some new customers from South Africa and Kazakhstan. We couldn’t fault the fair on international flair. We plan to opt for a stand in the white cubes segment next time.” Response was equally positive across the entire Young Fashion segment. At Design Attack 111 creative young designers showcased their refreshing creative ideas. For the sixth time in a row Design Attack proved it is indeed possible to stage trendy street fashion in an original and sector-specific manner in the halls of an exhibition centre. Remarking on this Kirstin Deutelmoser said: “Young Fashion has established itself as a key component of GDS/GLS over and beyond Design Attack. These young labels enjoyed the three days’ celebrations in Düsseldorf and did good business, too.”


GLS is on the Right Track

GLS is also on the right track. Exhibitors and visitors said they were satisfied with the fair’s now stronger links with GDS. Ordering in the halls of the fair was better than ever and the focus on GDS-oriented segments (bags, gloves, belts and small leather goods) went down very well with the retail trade. The majority of shoe retailers and departments are keen not to miss the leather goods range offered as part of GDS. The ‘range supplementation’ theme played a central role here.

global shoes establishes itself as a Solid Business Platform

‘global shoes & accessories’ has established itself as a solid business platform for volume suppliers and OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). Giving the event a clear profile as a fair in its own right has paid off. The large majority of exhibitors reported doing good to very good business. Commenting on this Kirstin Deutelmoser said: “global shoes has kicked off right away as the most important fair for volume business in Europe.”

Supporting Programme for Confident Ordering

ImageInternational buyers once again rated the wide-ranging supporting programme very highly. Fashion shows, TrendVision, Order Info, trend lectures, panel discussions and the Sales Assistants’ Day with numerous further training and motivation-building events ensured visitors the confidence they need for placing their orders. Remarking on this Kirstin Deutelmoser said: “Our supporting programme aims to help give buyers the ordering confidence they need long term. Only well informed buyers can make the right decisions. This is why the events are and remain a key component in our event concept.”

2008 Spring Dates set

The next GDS/GLS and ‘global shoes & accessories’ will be held in Düsseldorf from 14 to 16 September 2007. Following talks held with Micam the 2008 spring edition will now run from 14 to 16 March 2008.

Photo: Messe Düsseldorf 1x,
Vlastimil Kolařík 3x


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