SMOTA Attendance Slips

NEW YORK — The Shoe Market of the Americas saw a slight decrease in attendance for its fall 2009 show, which ran at the Miami Beach Convention Center from March 1-3. “We were about 8 percent down,” said Executive Director Beverlee Maier. “As expected, everyone’s being conservative. But we were pleased with the turnout.”

Maier noted that SMOTA’s international buyers from the Caribbean and Central and South America seemed less impacted than domestic buyers by the recession. “If they’re not dependent on tourism, they seem to be a little more [resilient],” she said. On the vendor side, tried and true brands ruled the sales floor. “The ones who always have the right product for this area [continued to] do well.”

And in this economic climate, Maier said, she has no plans to change SMOTA’s strategy. “We are focusing on our territory and our customer,” she said. “I predict that regional shows are going to get even stronger, especially with the rumors circulating about WSA.” (Speculation that WSA is facing bankruptcy has been refuted by ENK’s Elyse Kroll.)

Looking ahead, Maier expects a better turnout at the upcoming June show. “It’s a stronger market for us because of the [spring] product. Everyone is looking forward to it.”

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