The unexpected winter invasion with tons of snow, chaos on the streets, flight delays and a strong influenza, affected the start of GDS shoe fair in Düsseldorf. The first fair day started late, and many exhibitors couldn’t come in time because of the bad weather situation also in France and Belgium. And when the weather situation was better the airports in Düsseldorf and Cologne were on strike so that many visitors left earlier than expected. Another reason is the situation in retail; spring business started late, and because of this, retailers are placing their orders very carefully.

The Federal Association of the German Footwear Retail Trade, Cologne commented “2012 was difficult year for shoe retailers. Unfortunately the weather did not always cooperate. For 2012, roughly 41 per cent of shoe retailers surveyed a decrease in sales. Nonetheless, 36 per cent were able to increase sales.” Also this fact did influence the mood of the fair. Without having official figures from the fair management the feeling was that there were fewer visitors. The fair started late and the aisles were empty. The situation on the booths was also different; most exhibitors had less traffic. Manuel Behle, distributer Orderlounge Cologne in White Cube said on Thursday: “I had appointment with 26 clients but only three came.” Especially white cube had less traffic but the new kids walk was sometimes totally empty. Despite weather circumstance the urban hall 3 registered good order business. Most exhibitors had important clients in their booth. Katja Gerlach, Airstep: “On the first day we had no space in our booth. We had lot of orders. Our collection received a good response.”

Retailers are looking for fashion. New colours like Petrol, Green, Grey shades, Black, dark red, Brown and Cognac and metallic effects are the bestsellers. Ankle boots, booties with rivets, rock elements, military styles, crystals, wedges in suede and high top boots are back. Sneakers in new optics, with fur, in leather material, combination with denim, different colours, running styles and lots of decorative rivets and crystal stones are on demand. Moonboots are also a new trend. O´Neill had its first debut as well as G-Star Footwear. Both were happy. Stefan Krug, G-Star Footwear: “Urban Authentic Hall is the right place for us. Here we can show our shoe world. Here on GDS retailers are taking the last decision for the next season.” Dr. Thomas Nassua from s. Oliver: “The quality of our visitors was excellent, especially from Russia and Eastern Europe. We also had good pre-orders for spring.” Michael Weyergans, Camel Footwear: “Here in Düsseldorf we are making important contacts. We are happy with the frequency.”