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Visitors leave Micam early as tube strike takes its toll

Buyers and exhibitors were in a buoyant mood at Italian footwear show Micam last week, despite a mass exodus on Saturday following a rumoured tube strike in Milan.

Show organisers claimed visitor numbers reached a record high, with total attendance up 2.9% to 42,879 and international attendees rising by 7.7% to 21,589.

However, exhibitors at the show, held at Fiera Milano in Milan, said the number of domestic visitors appeared to have fallen.

Danny Sullivan, founder of UK footwear brand Irregular Choice, said: "We took about the same amount of orders and got some new UK accounts, which was great. But although I saw all of the usual British suspects, Italian numbers seemed to be down."

Visitor numbers may have been hit by a tube strike scheduled to take place on Saturday evening. Although it was called off at the last minute, many UK buyers left early to avoid any potential problems.

James MacLachlan, owner of Oxford independent Macsamillion, left the event an hour earlier than usual. "We left because we were travelling by tube, so we took an earlier one to get out of there."

Loake managing director Andrew Loake told Drapers that although he saw a number of potential new accounts, the last day of the show was slow and there was a lack of Italian visitors.

"Usually the Italians come around on the last day, because the independents don't want to leave their business during the week," he said. "However, there definitely weren't as many of them this year."

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