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Numbers fall at GDS footwear fair

Visitor numbers to German footwear show GDS fell back for the second consecutive season last week as the global downturn continued to hit attendance.

28,500 buyers from 82 countries visited GDS and sister sourcing show Global Shoes in Dusseldorf, which ran from September 11 to 13.

The figure compares with 31,000 visitors to the March edition of the show, and 32,800 at the comparative September show last year.

According to the show’s organisers, attendance was affected by retailers cutting back on travel budgets and sending smaller teams to the event.

“We are very satisfied with the way GDS and Global Shoes went,” said GDS director Kirstin Deutelmoser.

Exhibitors told Drapers attendance from UK buyers was particularly low and that currency fluctuations had pushed their spring 10 prices up, which buyers had found difficult to stomach.

The sales manager of one comfort brand. “What was tough were the conversations we had over price. The increases have been significant, due to the change in currency values, and we had to justify it. Saying that, buyers were ambitious on product. They wanted more for their money.”

British Footwear Association chief executive Richard Kottler added: “It was a super show from a navigation point of view, but they aren’t pulling enough punters.”

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