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Brands report a steady trade at GDS spring 14

British brands showing at footwear tradeshow GDS this season reported a “steady trade” at the Dusseldorf exhibition.

The shoe and accessories fair, which runs until September 13, kicked off to a solid start on September 11, with many brands writing orders from new and repeat clients.

Russell Downing, sales and marketing director at London based label French Sole, said there was a steady stream of buyers at the stand although they were “not rushed off their feet”.

He added: “Our number of new clients has increased at the show and I think that’s down to us renewing and refreshing our brand offer, we have 130 new styles this season.”

Gareth Austin-Jones, commercial director at ballet pump brand Cocorose London, said they had a strong turnout from returning customers. He said: “We weren’t particularly busy but our usual quality buyers were there and we had plenty of repeats coming through from German, Asian, Dutch and Austrian markets.”

Allan Scott, managing director of Jacobson Group-owned brand Lotus, also had a strong international contingent, with buyers from Australia, Russia, Canada, Austria visiting the British heritage label’s stand.

David Corben, managing director from Steptronic, said the show was “slower than last year” but “better than pure”.

John Saunders, sales and marketing director at the British Footwear Association, said the reaction to the show was “a mixed bunch” but although footfall appeared to be down, “big quality buyers” were there.

He said: “For some brands that have distributors and agents here, business appeared to be strong. Like all shows it’s about how you get people onto the stand, it depends on the brands footing in the market”

The number of exhibitors at GDS this season fell to 814 compared to the 879 brands at the show this time last year and footfall is expected to fall from the 22,550 people who visited in 2012.

The reaction follows the news that GDS will move its dates forward next year to July 30 to August 1.

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