The mood at Informa Markets Fashion’s Coterie and Magic New York trade shows this week was optimistic, with many brands bullish on the return of business after a healthy fourth quarter.
But just like at this season’s Magic Las Vegas and Atlanta Shoe Market trade shows, the supply chain was top of mind as brands and retailers try to course correct following a season of late and canceled deliveries due to port delays and factory shutdowns overseas.
One footwear brand sales rep, who wished to not disclose their name, told FN that their company usually pads invoices for a 30-day delivery window once orders ship, but now are planning shipments to land 75 days out, a cushion of 45 days. “We are expecting most retailers will receive fall product by Oct. 1,” the sales rep said.
This timeline is less than ideal after fall ’21 was marred by seasonal product arriving much later than anticipated, causing many brands and retailers to lose out on pre-holiday sales — especially when it comes to boots.
Inflation was another hot topic, with most brands admitting they’ve implemented a $3 to $5 price increase on fall goods in order to compensate for rising production and shipping costs. This news comes as the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) reported that footwear prices continued to rise in January, growing 6% year-over-year. This marks one of the fastest gains in decades.
However, some brands, like Schutz, said they would not be implementing any price increases this season. This move is mostly due to that fact that the brand produces in Brazil and have not been affected by port delays and factory shutdowns.
As for show management, Kelly Helfman, president of Informa Markets Fashion, is still bullish on the future of trade shows. With Coterie and Magic hosting its second in-person New York event since the onset of the pandemic, Helfman declared that trade shows are much needed and not going anywhere, especially in the advance contemporary market which Coterie services. “The buyers that attend our show must touch and feel and see the product in person,” Helfman told FN. “You just can’t do that over Zoom or over a screen.”
Helfman admitted that for September’s in-person show to New York, were nervous to return to the city that was once a major COVID epicenter — let alone the fact that the Javits Center, where the trade event is held, was once a hospital and vaccination center during the height of the pandemic. But now, for the February edition, Helfman noted that this apprehension was not a concern, with attendance almost double from the previous show. While specific attendance data was not available, Informa Fashion Markets did note that there were 700 total exhibitors at Coterie, with 150 new brands on the floor. Magic had 300 total vendors with 60 new brands exhibiting this February, up 36% from last September.