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ENCINO, Calif. February 27, 2006 â€“ As The WSA Show drew to a close on Monday, February 13 in Las Vegas, show organizers were pleased to report a record-breaking number of attendees for this respected footwear and accessories industry event. In addition, many new show features and attractions were successfully introduced for the first time, including: adidas CEO Herbert Hainer answering questions via satellite from Germany at the inaugural Global Strategic Footwear Forum; Jessica Simpson meeting with buyers to debut the new Jessica Simpson collection; and Steve Madden, colorful personality and popular designer, discussing footwear trends and recent life experiences to a packed theater.
The doors officially opened at The WSA Show and The Collections at WSA on Friday, February 10. Over a period of four days (February 10-13), The WSA Show served as a marketplace for manufacturers, media, retailers, celebrities, industry experts, suppliers and friends of the industry to conduct business, discuss trends, and exchange information. Specifically, the show saw 35,742 participants and 1,600 exhibitors from over 30 countries representing 6,000 brands.
This year’s WSA Show was the largest in its 59-year history. Compared to the February 2005 show, the WSA Show experienced a 12% increase in exhibitor space based on net square footage and a 7% increase in registered participants. These results include record-setting increases in The Collections at WSA, the world’s leading luxury and designer footwear and accessories marketplace.
For the first time, WSA hosted the Global Strategic Footwear Forum where top executives and experts shared insights on opportunities and challenges facing the industry. Panelists included Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group; Killick Datta, chairman and CEO of Global Brand Marketing Inc.; Ron Fromm, CEO of Brown Shoe; Herbert Hainer, chairman and CEO of adidas; Rob Langstaff, president of adidas America; Mark Lemond, president and CEO, Shoe Carnival; Jay Levitt, former president and CEO of May Merchandising Company; Tim O’Donovan, CEO, Wolverine World Wide; Matt Serra, CEO of Foot Locker; Diane Sullivan, president, Brown Shoe; Robert B. Tucker, Sr., president and CEO, The Shoe Show and Joe Wood, president, Famous Footwear.
Another first at the WSA Show was the launch of its own show daily magazine, WSA Today. This oversized glossy publication featured an exclusive interview with singer, shoe designer and WSA exhibitor Gwen Stefani as well as a daily variety of interviews with enthusiastic exhibitors and buyers. New products for the fall/winter season from across all categories were also prominently highlighted each day.
A record number 178 media attended the WSA Show, representing a wide range of business, finance, fashion and entertainment outlets from around the world. Reporters from CNBC, the Financial Times, Reuters and The Wall Street Journal attended WSA to meet with influential footwear and retail executives and collect information on the state of the industry. Fashion publications including Cargo, Chausser (France), Drapers (UK), Lucky, InStyle, Redbook and Teen gathered news on the latest footwear and accessories fashion trends and the hot new products driving those trends. In addition, broadcast media from E! News, Entertainment Tonight and Extra TV were on site to interview Jessica Simpson about her latest footwear line.
â€œThis year’s WSA Show was a huge success for us,â€ said Dan Scott, sales manager for Dan Post Boot Company. â€œWe saw more foot traffic in the booth than we have seen in a very long time and, as a result, wrote more orders on site. Our brands, Dan Post, Laredo Western Boots, Dingo, John Deere Boots and Performair were a must see for many retailers this year. The WSA Show provided a great opportunity for us to come in contact with our current customers and opened up new doors for us with major retailers and shoe chains.â€
â€œWe have been attending the WSA Show for seven years and we would never miss it,â€ said Fred Mossler, senior vice president of merchandising, Zappos.com, a leading online shoe and handbag retailer. â€œWSA is the one place that we can meet with shoe companies from around the world and learn about the latest trends in the footwear industry. It also provides us with an opportunity to network with our peers on a semi-annual basis, which is a great way to rejuvenate and strengthen relationships with manufacturers and designers.â€
â€œThis show was more than a tradeshow featuring the world’s best brands of footwear, handbags and accessories,â€ said Diane Stone, chief operating officer of WSA. â€œNot only was it a global summit where industry executives and buyers came together, it was an energetic, inviting atmosphere where success stories were top of mind, trends were created, information and business tools were shared and orders were written. Anyone involved in footwear or accessories should make this a must-attend event.â€
The next WSA Show will be held August 1 â€“ 4, 2006 in Las Vegas. For further information, or to register for the event please visit: www.wsashow.com.
About the World Shoe Association (WSA)
Twice a year in Las Vegas, WSA simultaneously hosts the WSA Show, the world’s largest and most comprehensive marketplace for the footwear industry, and The Collections at WSA, the world’s largest luxury footwear event. Featuring over 6,000 brands and nearly 36,000 participants, these combined events offer an unmatched opportunity for manufacturers to showcase their products and for buyers to discover the latest trends. The WSA Show is the must-attend event for anyone involved in the footwear and accessories industry. For more information, please visit www.wsashow.com or www.thecollectionsatwsa.com.
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