World Footwear


First edition of the new GDS concept

Aug 4, 2014
First edition of the new GDS concept
The shoe world gathered in Düsseldorf between the 30th of July and the 1st of August for the GDS trade fair. Tag it! by GDS, the show for private label, kicked off a day earlier
An anticipation of the dates (from early September to the end of July), and the presentation of the exhibitors by 3 worlds - Highstreet, Pop up and Studio - were the key changes in the latest edition of the fair.

Other innovative features included the Fashion Blogger Café (resulting from the invite made to 100 fashion bloggers to discover the trade show), Press Walk initiatives and the festival Out of the Box (outside the exhibition centre grounds, and into the city, with numerous activities and parties).

According to a press release issued by GDS: “the early dates proved a smart choice and the novel segmentation of halls into three themed worlds also went down very well”. A total of over 900 brands were present at the GDS trade fair, with an additional 380 names participating at the tag it! by GDS show. The same source adds that a significant number of visitants have said they had visited the trade show specifically as an information platform to gain an overview of the market.

Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, President and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, commented on the feedback collected during the fair: “Our shoe trade show has kicked off to a good start! Many exhibitors have given us very good feedback on our concept and the quality of visitors, in fact including some who had taken quite a critical stance until lately. We were aware that the early dates would go hand in hand with special challenges, which is why we expected visitor attendance to fall slightly. But we are confident that from February the response will be even better because in our visitor survey satisfaction levels were as high as 91%. A great result that reflects the good atmosphere at GDS.”

Kirstin Deutelmoser, Director of GDS and tag it! by GDS was also positive about the results: “GDS is set to become the trigger for the new season and will, first and foremost, whet people's appetite for new products. Now it is key for exhibitors to present themselves perfectly because one thing has become clear after this event: due to the early dates of GDS many retailers will already decide at the trade show which suppliers they want to take into consideration for future orders and which they don’t. I was delighted to see orders already being placed at GDS.”

Kirstin added that the basic idea of the two shows is on the right track, but there is room to re-adjust the format together with the industry. The first measure announced is that tag it! by GDS will also run for three days from Wednesday to Friday, from the next edition onwards.

During the trade fair, a joint press conference held by the Federal Association of the German Footwear and Leather Goods Industry (HDS/L), the Federal Association of German Footwear Retail Trade (BDSE) and GDS revealed some important numbers for the German industry in the first half of the year.

According to Ralph Riecker, President of HDS/L, the shoe industry in Germany had a “good first half of 2014", with sales of footwear rising overall. Sales for the first six months of the year achieved 1 240 billion euros, around 5.7% higher than the achieved during similar period in 2013. In his words “the German sales market developed very satisfactorily; with domestic sales of the German shoe industry increased 9.8% going from 859 million euros in the first months of 2013 to 943 million euros in the first half of 2014. The sales trend abroad was not as good, with negative sales of -5.7%. The Ukraine / Russia crisis is one of the main reasons explaining the significant declines in the first half of the year. Brigitte Wischnewski, President of the BDSE announced a moderate sales growth of 6% for the first half of the year. As for consumer prices, moderation was the word during the first months of 2014, with a small increase below 1% on average.

The next editions of GDS and tag it! by GDS will take place next year, from the 4th to the 6th February and from the 29th to the 31st of July.

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