Expansion in Store for Atlanta Show

The Atlanta Shoe Market continues to grow, with no plans of stopping anytime soon.

The trade show, held last weekend at the Cobb Galleria Centre in northwest Atlanta, saw an increase in both exhibitors and attendees. “We had 200 more exhibitors this time than [in February],” said Laura Conwell O’Brien, executive director of the Southeastern Shoe Travelers Association, which organizes the event. “And retailer attendance was up 15 percent.”

According to the organizers, roughly 1,680 product lines were exhibited during the three-day show.

Many of the new brands found a home in the show’s new Fashion Collection, a separate salon space for better fashion labels. Among the first-timers were Lovely People, Charles David, Lauren Ralph Lauren and See by Chloé.

The Atlanta market once again included a designated area for children’s brands, called The Kids Shoe Box, and O’Brien said she intended to introduce more sections for the next edition. “We have 24 companies on a waiting list, so we could add an overflow room,” she said. Exhibitors also could be placed in ballrooms and meeting rooms in the attached Renaissance Waverly Hotel, or in vacant storefronts in the Cobb Galleria’s mall area, she added.

In addition, the fall ’11 Atlanta Shoe Market will mark a calendar change, as the show shifts to a Saturday-to-Monday schedule. It is set to take place Feb. 19-21, 2011.

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