18 August 2015
Footwear buyers across the spectrum of the industry have reported a positive, productive and inspiring experience at Moda Footwear, which united the industry at Birmingham’s NEC last week. Praising the calibre of exhibitors across the men’s, women’s and children’s sectors, visitors welcomed the addition of inspiring new labels alongside the core collections showcased at the sector’s national trade event.
“It was a productive show as usual and we got everything that we needed,” says Andrew Marshall, owner of Strolling 4 Shoes, a mini-chain of footwear stores across Cumbria. “Our new discoveries included Polish brand Maciejka and Spanish label RIA Menorca [pictured], which I think is going to be a huge for summer – it’s a good quality product that goes beyond flip flops and traditional sandals. We spent three days at the show catching up with our regular brands such as Rieker and Josef Seibel, and we walked away with the full collection in place for next season and all ready to go.”
For fellow independent retailer Sheila Barry, the addition of directional new labels - and the welcome return of industry staples - was representative of an exhibition that continues to evolve in line with an increasingly diverse sector.
“How lovely to see such uplifting ranges, particularly as we come out of a difficult spring period,” says the buyer at Donaghy Shoes in Banbridge, Co. Down. “I was happy to see brands such as Hush Puppies back at the show, and the addition of new labels such as Irregular Choice offers such a good mix for customers.”
As well as inspiring buyers ahead of the spring season, the August edition confirmed Moda Footwear’s position as a business-orientated show with a strong focus on order-writing.
“I have completed a record number of orders since returning from the show,” says Nigel Hamilton, buyer at Bishops Footwear in Coleraine, Co. Derry. “I spent two very busy days at the show and was delighted with the overall experience and the welcome addition of some new faces.”
The proximity of Moda Woman, Moda Gent and Moda Accessories was also welcomed by buyers, particularly those who buy across the sectors for a comprehensive and cohesive lifestyle offer.
“With two shops and a transactional website retailing clothing, footwear and accessories, where else could I buy across the sectors so easily and conveniently,” says Julie Garner, proprietor, Everything Outdoor in Sandringham, Norfolk. “It would take me weeks to do the same amount of buying individually as I do at Moda with several days, and it’s an opportunity to take some dedicated time out with my manager to assess our in-store offer, fill the gaps and feel inspired by the right ranges which will work in our store.”
Moda Footwear will return to the NEC on 21-23 February 2016.