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Footwear brands frustrated by clashing spring dates

The clashing dates of three global trade shows next February caused concern among footwear brands exhibiting at Milanese trade show Micam this week.

In February Micam Milan, Moda in Birmingham and Platform in Las Vegas will all take place across the same dates from 15-19 February, causing many to question whether the move will split brands and buyers.

Micam will be two weeks earlier than normal taking place from February 15-18. Moda will take place from February 15-17 and Platform will run from February 17-19.

Peter Youell, managing director of Skechers for UK and Ireland said: “The clash will be a big challenge for us as we show at all three shows.  UK customers from the likes of Schuh, Office and USC always go to Platform, so it will be interesting to see if they miss Micam.

“Moda is mainly for our independent retailers so that should be alright. It’s a pity though why can’t they all get together and work something out?”

Ajay Sobti, managing director of Shoe Design and Trade, which distributes footwear brands Qupid, Carmen Saiz and Marcella at Micam and Moda, said: “How can you be in Italy and the US at the same time? The US shows have a huge pull for the big European accounts and you can’t do all of them, they are very expensive. Someone will lose out.”

The brand manager of one UK label that shows at Micam and Moda said: “Buyers may be split and some of the bigger retailers may be more attracted to Vegas. Smaller brands will really struggle and it will be hard in terms of samples.”

Other brand told Drapers they would be forced to choose between the shows. Julian Hakes, owner of his eponymous brand, said he will quit Platform next year in favour of exhibiting at Micam. “We probably won’t do Platform in the US next season. Micam is my best show so we will probably do New York for the US buyers.”

The sales director of another British label said they would choose Micam over Moda next season. “We will be staying at Micam. The more progressive independents and the big key accounts come to Milan, as well as international retailers, so for growth Micam is more important.”

Justin Morgan, managing director of HB shoes and distributor for Ara and Steptronic, said: “Micam has to be the winner here. It is the European show to attend. A lot of the smaller independents will continue to go Moda, but attendance was down last season.”

However, a few welcomed the move to earlier dates in general. Adrian Gell, sales manager of Barker shoes said: “The clash with Moda will be a challenge, but we’ll work through it as both shows have very different customers. Overall bringing the dates forward helps us, as retailers are looking for earlier delivery dates. Many big UK retailers finish buying mid-August so Micam is too late for them.”

Stephan Krug European managing director of Highline United, which distributes brands including French Connection and Julian Hakes, agreed the earlier dates allowed retailers to make decisions earlier. “For emerging brands looking to broaden distribution earlier shows are positive as buyers can get an overview of the range and get orders in earlier, that’s exactly what we want for French Connection.”

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