GDS organisers said they had received good feedback about the product on show. Trend-led footwear and accessories brands exhibited for the first time in the new White Cubes and Design Attack areas, which helped GDS to shake off its classic, comfort-led image.
Stead & Simpson buying and merchandising director Roger Parr was pleased with the show’s content. “It was worthwhile, especially men’s footwear – it felt more focused. It takes the heat out of Micam because we got some appointments out of the way here,” he said.
Pat MacCarty, owner of two-store independent Pat MacCarty Shoes in County Clare, Northern Ireland, said: “I come every year for the comfort brands and the selections have improved. Some of the big names have gone, such as Ecco, but it is still a good show.”
Orders at comfort brand Mephisto were up 17% on last year’s event. UK general agent Andy King said: “We were busy on Friday, Sunday and until mid-afternoon on Saturday, when it went quiet.”
Organisers said they had attracted a raft of new names, including Kors by Michael Kors, By Malene Birger and Diesel, which returned after four years.
The exhibition drew about 33,500 visitors, with UK visitor numbers reaching about 1,000, up 1% compared with last year.