Gallery SHOES is a must-attend event. And Brigitte Wischnewski, President of the BDSE (Federal Association of the German Shoe Retail Trade), and Carl-Josef Seibel, Chairman of the German Federal Association of the Footwear and Leather Goods Industry, certainly both agree. According to Brigitte Wischnewski, anyone who misses this event will miss out on the opportunity to see the bigger picture.
Around 400 exhibitors, 65% of whom were national and 35% international, showcased around 600 brands at this industry highlight for the international shoe business in Düsseldorf, which drew to a close yesterday. In addition to Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the professional visitors primarily came from the Benelux countries, as well as Russia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, the south of Europe and the USA.
“Consistent with previous events, we are concluding Gallery SHOES with a stable performance,” sums up Ulrike Kähler, Managing Director of IGEDO Company and Project Director. “The Sunday started out somewhat quieter than expected. But this was balanced out by the very busy Monday, which was confirmed not only by the official visitor counts, but also the personal experiences of exhibitors such as Dott. Giovanni Lacatena from Wortmann Schuh Holding.”
After the fifth edition, representatives from the German HDS/L and BDSE associations are even referring to Gallery SHOES as the leading German trade fair where all segments and significant brands are represented. They also went on to say that the event provides a clear, well-founded overview that is absolutely essential for retailers today. And also mentioned its very good atmosphere that only adds to the fun and enjoyment. “This event is not to be missed,” said Brigitte Wischnewksi during the HDS/L press conference.
“We have reached a point where other national and international events are arranging their dates around ours. Whether Micam or the events of the ANWR: Düsseldorf is well and truly back on the international map. And Gallery SHOES is playing an integral part in that. This is also demonstrated by the fruitful cooperation with foreign associations. And due to the cooperation with the association of FICE (Federation of Spanish Footwear Industries) alone, this time Gallery SHOES attracted 80 Spanish exhibitors,” says Ulrike Kähler. “For the future we’re going to continue working on similar joint international projects.”
Carl-Josef Seibel confirmed that the overall mood is positive, despite the very serious situation of an almost 50% drop in the number of German specialist retail stores in the past 15 years.
As well as the great overview, collection and design inspiration and the international reflection of the industry, another advantage that makes Gallery SHOES so invaluable is its accompanying line-up. This is something else that the association experts agree on, along with the huge importance of the lectures on digital industry topics. This edition’s line-up featured presentations including ‘Stock & content as the driving force behind hybrid retailing’ by SPOCC, ‘More choice, more availability of goods, more relevance – How bricks-and-mortar rertailers can prevail over Amazon & Co.’ by SCALERION and ‘Critical customer enquiries in a globalised and medially transparent retail world’ by CADS.
“Right from the outset we were aware of the importance of offering a solid line-up of side events that covers all topics currently facing the market,” adds Ulrike Kähler. “As is the tradition, TW, one of Germany’s leading trade magazines, opens with the Order-Info, which is also streamed internationally by Gallery SHOES. This is followed by inspiring and in-depth trend lectures by various industry bodies and trend pools. And not forgetting the independent award ceremony of the Schuhkurier Award on the evening of the second day of the tradeshow in K21. A highquality industry highlight timed to coincide with Gallery SHOES, which brings the industry together once again on the second evening.”
Something else that sets Gallery SHOES apart is the constant developments being made to further improve the event. At this latest edition, the Düsseldorf industry platform at the Areal Böhler presented a new, third lightweight construction in a prominent location with its own entrance to accommodate the KIDS’ Zone. “And the optimisation of the COMFORT zone with its own entrance and plaza also has also proven very popular,” continues Ulrike Kähler. The Kesselhaus, the Areal Böhler’s actual evening event location, is now regarded as a major meeting point that is home to a large catering zone and also the main registration area – regardless of the weather conditions. “All in all, we are also very happy with the further developments to the overall atmosphere, thanks to, for example, the new entrances. The hard work is paying off: people really seem to appreciate all the details and are enjoying being here.
Everything is aimed at appealing to our professional visitors and offering them the most versatile spectrum possible across all segments and on an international level – with a total of four possible dates for shoes, accessories and fashion, each at different times and with a different focus,” sums up Ulrike Kähler.
Upcoming dates of Gallery SHOES:
8 – 10 March 2020 and 30 August – 1 September 2020
Düsseldorf, 4 September 2019