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Weekday move at GDS to up footfall

German footwear trade show GDS will move to a weekday-only dateline for its March 2011 edition to drive visitor numbers after attendance dropped at this season’s show.

The number of visitors to GDS, which took place at Messe Düsseldorf on March 12-14 - a Friday to a Sunday - slumped 5% to 29,500 against the same edition last year.

Organisers of the fair said despite the decline in attendance, buyer and exhibitor feedback was positive following strong autumn 09 trading.

GDS director Kirstin Deutelmoser said a weekday-only show would mean fewer buyers having to shut up shop at the weekend.

A total of 1,120 exhibitors showed at GDS. The majority of attendees were German buyers, with buyers from the Benelux countries, France, Italy and the UK also attending.

Tom Hamilton, managing director of indie Bishops Footwear in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, said: “It is a smaller exhibition than it used to be but I found it was useful. It gave me an opportunity to review what I’d seen [at Micam] in Milan and the evolution of certain trends.”

The brand manager of one comfort footwear brand said: “Footfall was down but the quality of buyers was excellent. We have seen all of our key accounts and others we hope to take on board.”

The next edition of GDS will take place from September 10-12 at Messe Düsseldorf.

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