FN Expands Global News Focus With Debut of FN China

Footwear News (FN), a division of Penske Media Corp., is making a bigger international play with the debut of FN China.

The digitally-focused initiative will feature original content and on-the-ground reporting, as well as syndicated FN stories from the rest of the world that is most relevant to the China audience.

“I am thrilled to further our commitment to covering the global footwear, retail and fashion industries,” said Michael Atmore, Editorial Director, FN and Brand Development Director, Fairchild Media. “China is undeniably critical to the global footwear industry, and this partnership will allow FN to deliver essential news and analysis from the region faster than ever before.”

FN has partnered with China Mind Next on the endeavor. The company brings a wealth of media knowledge and expertise in the challenging Chinese market. The partnership, under license with Penske Media, will kick off on Aug. 1 and will also include events.

China Mind Next is helmed by Chairman Bentham Liu, who previously served as President and CEO of both Condé Nast Greater China and Hearst Greater China, and by Lena Yan, who serves as CEO.

WWD, FN’s sister publication, will also team up with China Next for the launch of WWD China.

James Fallon, editorial director of WWD and Fairchild Media, said: “Our new partnership in China furthers our commitment to covering the world’s major economies and markets, while giving readers access to WWD’s unparalleled editorial content and unrivaled events.”

As part of the new initiative, Miles Socha will return to Paris to take on the new role of editor, international, overseeing bureaus in Paris, Milan, London and Beijing.

The mounting signs of an economic slowdown in China may be on the minds of retail executives everywhere, but the country still has significant momentum. So much so, in fact, that it is on track in 2019 to top the U.S. as the number one retail market in the world.

According to eMarketer’s annual worldwide retail and e-commerce forecast for 2019, China’s total retail sales will reach $5.64 trillion this year, a 7.5% increase over 2018. Retail sales in the U.S., meanwhile, will grow 3.3% to reach $5.53 trillion.

Meanwhile, the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China is on the mind of every executive right now, and it could cost Americans billions more per years in shoes. The Trump administration last month imposed a tariff increase from 10% to 25% on $200 billion in Chinese imports. (That list didn’t include footwear.) After that, China said it would retaliate with tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. imports. Then the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative proposed further tariffs on all remaining imports from China, including footwear and apparel.

Stay tuned for coverage of these hot topics and more in FN China.

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