WSA Show witnesses surge of visitors
Both fashion-forward and established names in the footwear and accessories industries converged in Las Vegas July 31–August 2, 2009, for The WSA Show and The Collections at WSA. Drawing 20,234 participants from every corner of the U.S. and more than 90 countries, the must-attend footwear event overflowed with product, ideas and inspiration, and served as reinforcement that there is great optimism for the future of the business. The 2010 dates for WSA will be February 2–4 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and August 3–5 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center and The Venetian.
“Brands and buyers were thrilled with the powerful new look of the show and were busy all day seeing their customers, showing their product and writing orders,” said Pamela Baffo, director of The WSA Show. “The Box, Collections, C7 and the Main Show saw strong and continuous traffic immediately upon opening. The overall mood and feeling is that the Industry is on the upswing.”
Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers, took larger space at this WSA Show and commented that “WSA continues to be one of the most important trade venues for Skechers USA. Having the ability to congregate in a convention center format provides us with the networking tools to get our message out to the footwear retailers around the world. At this past WSA, we were able to work with hundreds of customers and meet with top buyers and management of major retailers. We are excited with the results and looking forward to next year's participation.”
“I always liked this show. It is so efficient in that it allows me to see so many more people than I can in New York. The New York showrooms are so spread out that you can only do four to five in a day, if you are lucky!” said a big-box shoe retailer.
The WSA Show included all product segments of footwear, allowing buyers and sellers to do business across many categories, and the well-merchandised format and easy-to-navigate aisles allowed buyers to stay focused and shop with ease. Some of the brands at WSA that were irresistible to buyers included Steve Madden, H.H. Brown, Clarks, Skechers, Nine West, Geox, Lacoste, Brown Shoe, Earth, Havaianas, Aetrex, East Lion and Jeffrey Campbell.
The Box, WSA's highly successful section within the main show, kept attendees buzzing with its resident DJ and “Mimosas in the Morning.” Brands such as Vince Camuto, Charles David, Gee WaWa, Jessica Simpson, Miss Sixty, Gwyneth, Schu, Luxury Rebel and Sacha London were showing again in The Box, while newcomers, including Nine West, True Religion, Guess by Marciano, BCBGeneration, Kensiegirl, Lucky Brand, Apepazza, Irregular Choice, Diego Di Lucca and Hype experienced high-energy buying for all three show days.
“We had a very successful show and feel that The Box is the best format for our brands,” said Scott Kaminsky, vice president, Highline United. “We will continue to show at The Box because it allows us to showcase the product that we feel is unique, in an open, accessible format that makes it effortless for buyers to shop all our brands.”