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New concept of GDS meets with acceptance

Sep '08
The new concepts of the Düsseldorf shoe fair duo GDS – International Event for Shoes & Accessories – and GLOBAL SHOES – leading trade show for sourcing – have been received very well by both trade and industry. Most exhibitors and visitors unanimously agree that the reorganised hall layout and rearrangement of exhibitor neighborhoods has noticeably stimulated the trade fair business.

According to preliminary counts approx. 33,000 buyers visited the fair grounds. 6,500 of them attended GLOBAL SHOES. This means both trade fairs closed almost on par with last year (September 2007: 33,500) thereby standing their ground despite the current, tight market situation.

Almost one in two visitors to GDS came from abroad (83 countries; the top 5 after Germany included the Benelux countries, Italy, Great Britain, France and Denmark). At GLOBAL SHOES the proportion of foreign visitors was even higher standing at 55% (59 countries, the top nations after Germany were the Benelux countries, Poland, Spain, Israel).

The new total layout of the two fairs was received very well. Visitors of GDS especially liked the “urban authentic” and “urban spirit” areas in Hall 1, “design attack” as well as the comprehensive staging of trends. Visitors to GLOBAL SHOES rated the trade fair as a whole so positively on account of the de-synchronisation with GDS and the new hall layout.

Summarising the results of the exhibition Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, CEO and President of Messe Düsseldorf, said: “In the run-up to the trade fair we were very anxious to see how well the new concepts would go down with the market. At the end of the day the intense efforts undertaken over the past few months have more than paid off.

The positive response across the board shows that GDS and GLOBAL SHOES have taken a further step in the right direction.” Dornscheidt also announced that the concept would be fine-tuned and re-adjusted even further at some points.

For Ralph Rieker the trade fair proved to be a success in two ways. The Managing Partner of RICOSTA Schuhfabriken GmbH described the trade fair activities as follows: “We are very pleasantly surprised. Customer numbers and quality were right, we were pretty busy on all three days and our order books were also filled well.”

In his function as President of HDS – the Federation of the German Footwear Industry – Rieker explained: “The re-orientation of the two trade fairs has produced noticeable, positive results. Separating the dates and area of GDS and GLOBAL SHOES is the right step and has been received very well by manufacturers. Furthermore, the shorter distances to walk in the halls and the rearranged neighbourhoods allow visitors to let their gaze wander and probably also discover something new while doing so. I can only say: Keep it up!”

“The situation in German and European shoe retailing is anything but relaxed these days. We were therefore all the more pleased with the positive mood to be felt across the exhibition halls,” explained Fritz Terbuyken, board member of anwr– Ariston-Nord-West-Ring, one of Europe's largest purchasing cooperatives counting 1,700 independent specialist shoe retailers and 800 German specialist sports goods retailers.

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