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Record visitor numbers for Micam but hard-up UK buyers stay away

Italian footwear fair Micam recorded its highest-ever attendance figures at last week’s spring 08 edition.
Overall attendance numbers were up 4.6% to 46,313 visitors compared with a year ago, with foreign visitor numbers rising 5.1% to 22,623. Organisers said the total visitor figure was a new record for the show, which is organised by the National Association of Italian Footwear Manufacturers.

However, UK visitor numbers fell 6% to 1,256, from 1,335 last September. The decline was attributed to tighter buying budgets and a general reluctance to travel to shows because of tough trading in the UK.

Delayed flights from the UK also held up some buyers and exhibitors. Maggie McAteer, sales director at footwear brand Shöfolk, turned back after a six-and-a-half hour delay at Heathrow. On a separate flight, Galahad Clark, founder of footwear brand United Nude, was also delayed by three hours.

McAteer said: “We won’t be showing at Micam again because footfall was so low against last season. We didn’t see as many US or Far East accounts this time. The big UK multiples were there, but many are doing own-brand now and the smaller boutiques are being much more careful with their spend.”

However, women’s footwear brand Miss L Fire, which was showing at Micam for the first time, had a successful show that generated several new leads.

Footwear consultant Richard Wharton added: “It seemed quiet. The multiples were there, but I’m not sure how many independents turned up.”

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