The trade show, which starts Wednesday at Atlanta’s Cobb Galleria Centre and Renaissance Waverly Hotel, is sold out once again, with pre-registration up 6 percent, according to Atlanta Shoe Market’s executive director, Laura Conwell-O’Brien. “The trade show is growing tremendously,” she said.
She added that the attendee list is getting longer in terms of both vendors and buyers. Walmart and DSW are among the major retailers that will have a first-time presence at the show.
New vendor additions include Nautica, Freebird by Steven, Duck Commander, Phat Classics, Robert Vassi and Speedo USA. Los Angeles-based label Reef will be at the event for the first time as well, aiming to spread the word about its recently expanded mix.
“Reef has been known for its success in sandals since 1984, [but] a major growth driver moving forward is a year-round closed-toe business,” said Reef’s director of sales, Brandon Rich. “We’ve identified the Atlanta shoe show as a new potential platform to help drive this initiative.”
While Conwell-O’Brien said the twice-annual event’s rapid expansion could necessitate relocation to a larger exhibition center (a move that organizers have been considering for some time), she attributed much of the Atlanta Shoe Market’s success to its current location. “The biggest plus is that the show is under one roof, and it is very easy to shop,” she said. “The retailers love it.”
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Casino & Cocktail Party
6-9 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 14
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
The event includes a performance by the Party on the Moon band.
Southeastern Independent Retailers Meeting
6-7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 14
Cobb Galleria Centre, Room 119
Colour & Trend Breakfast Seminar
7:30-9 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 15
Renaissance Waverly Hotel, Chancellor Room
8 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 15
Cobb Galleria Centre, Gallery Room