Footfall was lower than usual at the Kensington Shoe Event, which took place from March 1-3 at the Kensington Close Hotel in west London.
Fifteen brands including women’s labels Pretty Ballerina and Tosca Blu exhibited at the show. Many said their existing independent customers had placed orders, but noted the event was quieter than previous seasons.
Garry Moore, agent at White Wolf Agencies, which was showing three labels at the event - Tosca Blu, JB Shoes and 87 Vicmati - said Sunday was busy for independent buyers and they opened 15 new accounts, but visitor numbers dropped off after the weekend.
“It has been a tough season for footwear retailers, but our range of brands means we are well covered across the different sections of the markets,” he said.
David Bell, director of expansion at Pretty Ballerina, said: “It has been quiet, but autumn is not our strong season. We’ve seen our regular independents, but no new accounts.”
Kensington Shoe Event organiser Renato de Angelis admitted the show was not as busy this season, but said he expects the exhibitor and visitor numbers to increase for the spring 16 edition.
He added: “Sunday was our busiest day and we’re still doing business here, but it’s not as easy as it used to be. The weather hasn’t been too kind to retailers for the last few seasons, they aren’t selling as many long boots and the sell through hasn’t been as good so [retailers] are being careful when buying. Next season will be busier as the spring season has a longer selling period so brands are more willing to pay to exhibit.”