Retailers attending next week’s ENKWSA show will have the chance to shop as well as to party. The event, which takes place July 27-29 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, will feature close to 1,000 exhibiting footwear brands and more than 25 handbag and accessory lines, according to David Kahan, president of ENK Footwear Group. An opening night party honoring Deckers Outdoor Corp. CEO Angel Martinez kicks off the event.
“The momentum has continued to build since our turnaround show in February,” said Elyse Kroll, chairwoman and founder of ENK International. “Exhibitors such as Deckers, Chinese Laundry, Finn Comfort and Ecco will all have a presence. Plus, we’ve added more than 25 handbag and accessory brands, as well as expanded our space for contract manufacturers. Our retail registration is up, and we expect all channels of distribution to be presented.”
Kahan said the show also has seen a 58 percent increase in registered buyers. “Many attendees saw [the last] show as a true turnaround, and they liked the energy we created,” he said.
On the floor, ENKWSA is once again bringing its Sole Commerce collection from New York’s Fashion Coterie show. Brands scheduled to present there include Steve Madden, Jeffrey Campbell, Irregular Choice and Gentle Souls.
Retailers seeking product with a more casual vibe can stop by the S lounge, showcasing exhibitors such as Tsubo, Sebago and Gourmet. Or they can visit the Oasis Lounge, which has been expanded to serve as a central gathering spot for charging phones and laptops and enjoying refreshments. Retailers also can pick up business tips at the NSRA seminar, held the day before the trade show opens.
And to mark Deckers’ return to the show, ENKWSA will present its inaugural Footwear Industry Icon award to Martinez. The beach-themed party, co-hosted by the show organizers and Deckers’ Ahnu brand, will take place at the Encore Beach Club at the Encore hotel, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“We are proud to honor Angel,” said Kahan. “This award recognizes someone who has had a significant impact not only on his own organization but on the entire industry. Angel’s leadership in establishing some of the strongest brands in the history of the footwear industry make him a perfect honoree.”
As the first recipient of the award, Martinez said, “If being in the same business for 35 years makes you an icon, then I share the stage and award with a lot of phenomenally talented, committed men and women who have made the footwear industry one of the best, most exciting places to work and build a career. I’ve been fortunate to work on dynamic brands with incredible people who are icons in their own rights, and I’m looking forward to celebrating this award and our industry together at [the show].”
The National shoe retailers Association presents its annual seminar on July 26 in the Marco polo room at the Venetian. Here is the schedule.
Todd Lewis, Shoe Fly Shoes; chairman, NSRA Education Committee
Presentation: Retail Reinvention
Keynote speakers rich Kizer and Georganne Bender, experts on customer diversity, discuss what retailers can do to reinvent their stores and create consistently unique customer experiences.
“Keeping connected in a Digital World,” moderated by Kizer and Bender
Roundtable: “Marketing Madness”
1:30 p.m. Retailers share their best ideas for promotions, displays and employee incentives.
Kizer and Bender address the group.