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Footwear puts its best foot forward

13 August, 2002

Footwear puts its best foot forward

Keeping in step is proving to be a winning formula for New Zealand's footwear industry.

The creme of New Zealand's footwear wholesalers, retailers and agents have collaborated to put together the largest footwear trade fair in Australasia and in doing so generated more than $15 million in sales. The New Zealand Footwear and Leathergoods Expo began on Sunday and finishes Wednesday evening, already being hailed as a huge success by buyers and organisers. The event has even attracted a large group of wholesalers and buyers from New Zealand and Australia looking to take advantage of the comprehensive line-up on show and a retail buyer list that reads like a Whos Who of footwear in New Zealand. The format is simple with 60 exhibitors taking over a large part of an Auckland hotel, exhibiting from the hotel rooms - a format that allows wholesalers to show collections to buyers in private. While the majority of exhibitors are showing Italian made footwear for women, there are representatives from many nations including Australia, Spain, Brazil, South Africa and Israel. Menswear and streetwear are well supported along with sporting and specialist footwear for wide, long or narrow feet. Local exhibitors include the successful women's Kumfs brand at one end of the market through to New Zealand's own youth skate shoe brand Poynter at the other. Retailers have high praise for the format which they say offers them the opportunity to see the entire season's looks and styling in one venue over four days. Upmarket retailer John Upton of Scarpa with three stores in Auckland says that having the trade show so early in the season allows him to buy exciting fashion styles from Europe that wouldn't normally be available to him. "It is a huge benefit to me to be able at one point to view a large group of European footwear collections for Winter 2003," he said. "Your shop is only as good as its shoes."


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