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How women will suffer for shoes they love

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By Louise Cordell FASHION conscious women go to such extreme lengths for their shoes that one in ten admits they have had to receive medical attention or even be hospitalised. Nearly half of women have twisted their ankle because of their footwear and two thirds admit to wearing shoes that have caused them injury. The top injuries caused by shoes were broken ankles, twisted knees, infected blisters, bunions and torn tendons. A third had fallen flat on their face as a result of their shoes with many damaging their teeth and breaking their wrists. The study into 3,000 women’s footwear choices was conducted by comfy shoe specialist Hotter Shoes, the UK’s biggest shoe maker, who are looking into what motivates women to buy certain shoes. Lisa McCarten of Hotter Shoes, said: “It’s incredible to imagine the

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“Buying shoes can be hard work as women tend to buy shoes that look good with an outfit, and then worry about the pain later.” Nearly eighty per cent of women had bought shoes knowing that they didn’t fit with most buying shoes that are too small for their feet. Although women listed comfort as a priority when looking for shoes many ended up buying what looked good with 94 per cent saying they had bought shoes that were painful. Six out of ten women said that even if they were in pain they would keep wearing a pair of shoes if people commented that they looked good wearing them. Most women said they had regretted buying shoes but a third said that they wouldn’t throw a pair of shoes out if they caused them to get injured if they looked good.

CONVERSE has announced the opening of its first specialty retail store in Manhattan. Michael Spillane, the brand’s chief executive, said: “Converse was first in sports and first in rock ‘n roll so we’re extremely excited to bring our fans the first Converse New York City specialty retail store. “Converse has deep roots in New York City culture from basketball to the influential underground music scenes of the 80s and 90s. “This newest store will allow visitors to immerse themselves in a unique Converse experience and give them new and exclusive ways to engage with our brand.” The store will have the largest offering of Converse footwear in the world, showcasing collections including Chuck Taylor All Star, Jack Purcell, Star Chevron, One Star and Converse by John Varvatos, as well as other premium footwear collaborations. Another key feature of the shop will be Converse’s instore customisation capabilities. This will allow customers to select shoes and bags along with graphics and colours to create their own designs and leave with their creations on the same day.

UK brand Starchild has received a rock and roll endorsement for its adult Union Jack shoes. Rock star Ozzy Osbourne has ordered the style in navy and his wife Sharon purchased a matching pair in candy pink.

Cult label teams up with chain Page 5

Award-winner seeks more partners

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Hetty launches ready-to-wear range Page 7 February/March 2011

pain and discomfort women endure for a pair of killer heels or an illfitting impulse sale bargain.

Converse announces retail first

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Wall can change the way retailers sell their products

The Virtual Footwear Wall

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THE launch of new invention, the Virtual Footwear Wall, is set to change the way high street retailers sell their products. Unveiled at the 2011 National Retail Federation’s convention, the interactive adiVerse Virtual Footwear Wall potentially puts as many as 8,000 shoes at shoppers’ fingertips by merging the worlds of e-commerce and traditional stores. For the event, Intel partnered with Adidas to show off the Wall’s potential. It has been designed by UK company Start Creative and renders products in 3-D – allowing shoppers to spin and zoom in on the shoes and call up specifications from a touch screen display. Particularly popular models

can also be linked to accompanying video and relevant information – for example the Adidas F50 soccer shoe, which was worn by players who scored 44 goals in last year’s World Cup. Retailers using the Wall will be able to deliver a massive inventory in a relatively small space. Actual stock can be kept low, with a small supply of shoes to serve as fit models. Chris Aubrey, vice president of global marketing for Adidas, said: “We have levelled the playing field for small retailers. They can now act like a big flagship store in a town like London or New York. Not to mention the fact that the installation turns flat walls into prime selling

space.” The aim is for a prototype store to be rolled out in the UK within the next year. Adidas executives have chosen this option because they believe the UK is nearly as enthusiastic about ecomm-erce as the United States, but is also close enough for managers from the company’s European headquarters to keep a close eye on how the Wall is working. Chris added: “Germany itself still lags a bit in its appetite for online shopping. “However, footwear sales in general are bouncing back after taking a hit during the global melt-down of 2008. We had a very good 2010 and I think consumer confidence is back.”

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Chain joins forces with Swedish cult label “These new styles fit perfectly with the 70s’ bohemian look that’s so important this coming season.”

By Louise Cordell H&M has teamed up with cult shoe label Swedish Hasbeens to bring its wooden-soled clog style to the rest of the world. From April, three designs created especially for the chain will be available in around 150 stores worldwide. The shoes have been inspired by the traditional Swedish styles of the 70s and are made using handcrafted methods and environmentally friendly materials. Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s head of design, said: “I love the genuine feeling you get from Hasbeens, from the wood and the leather, and also how they take something traditional and Swedish and make it contemporary and modern.

The three wooden-soled designs include a gladiator style, strappy wedge, a heeled summer sandal with one ankle strap and a peep toe, slip on wedge with snake effect leather. Emy Blixt, founder and designer of Swedish Hasbeens, said: “We have a strong belief in making better shoes for a better world. “We want to make fashion more fun, creative and friendly to both the environment and people. “Designing for H&M is a fantastic opportunity to spread the idea of Hasbeens and make these shoes available to more people.”

Emy Blixt, Swedish Hasbeens and Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M

‘Better legs and better bums’ adverts banned by advertising watchdog REEBOK’S adverts for the brand’s EasyTone Curve trainers have been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

London boasts largest Nike store NIKE has announced the official reopening of its flagship Niketown store in Oxford Circus, following extensive redevelopment making it the largest Nike store in the world. Niketown London now covers approximately 42,000 square feet over four floors and its reopening forms part of a series of planned new store openings across the UK. The store now includes a two floor NIKEiD studio for consumers to go online to design and customize their own footwear; a state-of-the-art football boot fitting machine, allowing players the chance to steam mould boots to News

their feet and a boot embroidery service. Also on offer is video gait analysis and trained staff to help runners to work out exactly what type of shoe suits their running style. Marc van Pappelendam, Nike UK general manager, said: “Nike is committed to offering consumers access to engaging, exciting and innovative retail spaces. “The re-launch of our flagship Niketown London store demonstrates our drive to continue to raise our game and offer our consumers world-class shopping experiences in line with our longterm category strategy.”

The watchdog has ruled that the adverts should be withdrawn due to their promises of ‘better legs and a better bum with every step’. After studying the claims in two promotions, a magazine and a TV advert, the ASA concluded that they were ‘misleading’. The magazine advert featured headline text that stated: “Reetone with every step. Get up to 28 per cent more of a workout for your bum. And up to 11 per cent more for your hamstrings and calves.” A separate TV advert claimed: “Reebok EasyTone. Helps tone legs and bum more than regular trainers – with balanced ball inspired technology. Better legs and better bum with every step.”

The ASA said this would be understood by consumers to mean that wearing EasyTone trainers regularly, during everyday activities, would result in a noticeable improvement in muscle tone, which would continue over time. However, it added: “We considered that the very small sample size of participants on which the EasyTone study was based was not adequate to support the absolute claims made in the ads that consumers would achieve an improvement in muscle tone. “Because we considered that we had not seen robust, scientific evidence to support the efficacy claims made in the magazine ad or the TV ad, we concluded that the claims had not been substantiated and were therefore misleading.” The ASA looked into the ads after two complaints challenged whether the efficacy claims for the product were misleading and could be substantiated. February/March 2011

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Brandosa launches new UK site ONE of the largest online shoe stores in Europe has officially launched its new site in the UK.

said: “We will offer UK customers everything from winter boots to flip flops, trainers to bridal shoes.

Brandosa.co.uk offers a range of footwear for men, women and children and will immediately become one of the largest online shoe stores in the UK with a range of over 10,000 styles and more than 280 brands.

“We are very excited to be launching in the UK and we hope that new customers will enjoy the Brandosa shopping experience.

Liam Clark, UK country manager,

Equity firm purchases shoe chain FOOTWEAR chain Office has been bought by private equity firm Silverfleet for an undisclosed sum. Chief executive Brian McCluskey has reinvested in the business and is set to remain in his current role. Office first opened in 1981 and has since grown to 75 stand alone stores in the UK and Ireland and 46 concessions in House of Fraser, Top Shop, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.

“Shopping online is all about convenience, so we also offer free shipping and free returns on all orders.

Liam added: “We pride ourselves on offering the best possible range of footwear to our customers and catering for all kinds of people, no matter their age, style, size or background.

Brandosa launched in 2006 and has since expanded at a fast rate, attracting over 13m visitors and selling over 350,000 pairs of shoes across seven countries since opening.

“This model is successful in other European markets and it is incredibly exciting to be launching our brand in a large, diverse and competitive market like the UK.”

Smaller retailers would pay more for simpler tax system MANY independent retailers are so frustrated with the complex UK tax system that they would pay more just to see it simplified, according to new research.

The chain sells a range of brands including Ugg, Converse, Vans and Hunter, as well as its own-branded shoes.

Over half of small business owners surveyed by the Forum of Private Business said that they would be willing to pay more tax in exchange for a simpler system that led to greater rewards.

Gareth Whiley, partner at Silverfleet, said: “Office is a great business with a management team that really understands what its customers want – the stores are a destination for anyone looking for fashionable shoes.

Another 50 per cent said that they would be prepared to contribute more if a new system cut down on tax avoidance among their competitors – especially larger businesses.

“The young fashion sector of the footwear market is growing fast and there is still room for a roll out of stores within the UK and potentially overseas.”

“Customers can get their shoes delivered to their door, try them on at home and just send them back at no cost if they are not 100 per cent happy.”

Finally, 45 per cent of companies said that they would tolerate a higher tax bill if the new system was accompanied by a general reduction in legislative red tape. The findings come after the

Coalition Government announced the creation of the Office for Tax Simplification last summer. The Office is a Treasury department which is currently working on tax simplification proposals ahead of the March budget. Phil Orford, Forum chief executive, said: “The cost of complying with Britain’s hugely complex tax system is such that, if simplification and profitability result, most businesses believe a little more tax would be a price worth paying. “Clearly, if the government is serious about stimulating small business growth, streamlining tax administration must be a priority. “In addition, small businesses are deeply concerned that the tax system favours large companies and is deeply unfair.

“How can the government continue to allow major retailers to set up shop in the Channel Islands to deliberately undercut small shops by exploiting a VAT loophole that clearly distorts competition and leads to tax abuse? “We desperately need reforms that incentivise small business growth by freeing up time and money to invest in future planning and expansion, rather than a system that impedes it, as the present one does.” The Forum now plans to investigate the possibility of a radical overhaul to the tax system, which could include the abolition of business tax reliefs and allowances if corporation tax were to be cut to internationallycompetitive rates and employment taxes were significantly reduced or abolished.

Award-winner seeks more partners AWARD-WINNING French footwear brand Hoka One One, which picked up the best footwear and product of the year award at this year’s Outdoor Trade Show, is looking to widen its network of retail partners in the UK for spring 2011. The brand also won the 2010 innovation of the year award in France’s Endurance Trails magazine for their

product, which aims to present an alternative to current barefoot running offerings. The shoes are already worn by winning athletes including ultra runner Karl Meltzer and distributors Sidas UK are now working to launch the product at both business and consumer levels.

UK first for Hush Puppies HUSH Puppies is celebrating the opening of its first retail store in the UK at The Mall in Bristol. The move is part of a planned expansion into direct distribution on the high street and this store joins 500 other concept stores worldwide. Phil Beaven, international

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retail director, said: “The Mall at Cribbs Causeway is a key retail destination for Bristol and the South West. “The centre hosts a large number of well established brands and is a perfect location for Hush Puppies to launch our first UK retail store.” News


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Hetty extends brand with new ready-to-wear collection BESPOKE shoemaker Hetty Rose has launched a Ready to Wear collection for 2011. After three years creating personally designed shoes for individual customers, Hetty has decided to extend the brand to a wider audience. Key classic and top-selling styles, including Mika, Yuki, Kiki, Haruka and Mami, have been selected for the range and are available through her website and wholesale. The new range will allow fans of the brand to own some of the key styles at a lower cost than a bespoke pair. The concept behind the Hetty Rose brand is based on a theory

of re-using and re-working vintage materials in a creative and sustainable way, hand making shoes to fit. Hetty is passionate about her brand philosophy, which is to make an environmental statement in an aesthetically pleasing way. She said: “The Ready to Wear range takes the essence of our bespoke, hand-made shoes in our signature vintage kimono fabric style and makes them more accessible, so clients can buy without the six to eightweek wait for personalised shoes. “Hopefully, clients will also enjoy owning a piece of designer footwear at a more affordable price point.” Hetty has plans to expand her range throughout the year and future collections will include bags, baby shoes and men’s ties.

Leading Italian brand in UK move A LEADING Italian footwear brand has announced it plans to create new opportunities for UK retailers. Lomer shoes had been popular in the UK footwear market for many years and, when sold through the mail order outlet Hawkshead, the brand regularly achieved sales of over 30,000 pairs each year. News

However, after Hawkshead experienced severe financial difficulties, the brand took the decision to withdraw temporarily from the UK market. Now, having recently struck a new UK distribution deal, Lomer is eager to attract new retail partners for its classic Italian designs. February/March 2011

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Students head to China for work trip

Far left: Freedom and, left: Maneater from the Curves range

TWO young footwear students have been given the chance to gain work experience in China with the help of the British Footwear Association. The undergraduates, both from Northampton University, have spent three months working with international and local clients and their Chinese factories.

WedgeWelly makes a splash with red WEDGEWELLY has unveiled a special edition print named Freedom. Designer Laura Booth said: “I’ve been looking to introduce the colour red into the range for some time now, and by popular demand we’re launching the Freedom print. “This design is by far my favourite.” The Freedom boot will be presented in a gift box and will be available in the Unique and Flex ranges. The brand has also launched a new Curve range of wellies with a wider fit. It has been made for customers that require a wider foot, ankle and leg area and accomodates a calf circumference of between 45 and 48cm.

Laura added: “As a designer it’s important for me to not only design products which I can be proud of, but also products which the customer will love. “I know that the Curve range is going to be a huge success as I’m contacted daily by fans of WedgeWelly, many of whom express their frustration at the lack of functional and fashionable boots available with a wider fitting. “We strive to accommodate the desires of everyone and the addition of the Curve range will ensure that more people can now engage with our brand and enjoy our wonderful products.“

Samantha Morris and Phillippa Tatt were selected and sponsored by RaddisshMe – a leading footwear design studio based in Southern China. Samantha said: “Overall I feel this whole experience has benefitted me an incredible amount and I am so grateful for the opportunity. “I am now confident in my career choice and can’t wait to get started working in the UK. “I was nervous with my ideas when I first started but the team helped me overcome that by letting me know that nothing is ever wrong.

“One small idea voiced can be the start of a brilliant collection once everyone else gets involved.” RaddisshMe was founded by exPrada Sport designer Ajoy Sahu, and now works with a wide variety of customers from high end designers through to sportswear brands, including Clarks, Diesel, Miu Miu and DKNY. Phillippa said: “I think my experience in China was very positive. There were times when I think I struggled with the cultural differences, however, I feel so fortunate that I was able to experience not only working as a designer in an innovative footwear studio, but living in a country so different to what I am used to in England. “I feel more than ever that I want to pursue a career in footwear design, and I believe the experience and guidance that I gained from RaddisshMe has given me a great platform to continue my career in the UK.”

Farmer plugs new shoes A CHINESE farmer has invented a pair of electric shoes which he claims enable wearers to ‘run’ more than 100 miles a day. The shoes are effectively batterypowered roller skates which

feature headlights, indicators, brakes and brake lights. Inventor Zhao Xueqin was inspired to create the shoes by the children in rural areas of China who often have to travel many miles to go to school.

Olympic champions promote new boat shoe CLARKS Sport has appointed British Olympic gold medallists Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson as ambassadors for its new technical boat shoe. The design is part of the spring/summer 2011 collection and Iain and Andrew will appear in store and media campaigns from now until 2012. Clarks Sport’s marketing manager said: “We are delighted to be working with Iain and Andrew. “We have developed a highly technical, best in class boat

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shoe as a flagship product for the nautical Clarks collection and we could think of no better people to work with than a team which has won European, World and Olympic titles.

risk of aquaplaning.

“We are keen to support British sporting talent and Iain and Andrew have proved over many years that they can compete on a global stage and continually deliver success.”

Andrew Simpson said: “Often the issue sailors face most with their footwear is when it gathers water and becomes heavy and cumbersome.

The boat shoe designs, Orson and Ionia, are available for men and women and feature the Aquadx water drainage system, designed to reduce the

“But with the technology in our Clarks boat shoes, we never have this worry as the water is constantly drained through the shoe without affecting the weight or grip.”

They also feature rock compound rubber soles, anti-microbal lining, salt water resistant leather and rust proof eyelets to help with performance.

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The new range from laid-back lifestyle brand Cushe has been created with the environment in mind. Out On A Limb spoke to creative director Martin Dean about the label’s ambition to ‘Leave a Lighter Footprint’

New C.L.I.M.A.T.E. range: it’s the future of the brand

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New looks for Fish ‘n’ Chips

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Looking back to the future

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Show round-up Page 19 February/March 2011

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CUSHE has described its C.L.I.M.A.T.E. range as more than a new collection – instead it is the future of the brand. The aim is to continue creating stylish and wearable footwear, but using design ideas and production methods that minimise the impact on the environment. The brand has looked into every stage of the manufacturing process to create the new concept, which translates as: Contains.Low.Impact.Materials.And. Thinking.Environmentally. Martin Dean, Cushe’s creative director, said: “The eco range is something I have wanted to do for a long time, but we have not really had the resources to do it properly until now – and doing it right was very important to us. “Our aim has always been to make products that are different and unique, by challenging the boundaries of footwear design rather than just following trends. “However, it is also important to take ease of production into account when designing – essential if you don’t want to get to the end of the design process and find that no one is able to create what you’ve come up with. “So we have been waiting for all these factors to come together.” The first shoe to launch in the range is the Shucoon - which has been designed to create its own packaging with each pair fitting together, secured with a rubber ‘support C.L.I.M.A.T.E.’ wristband, and the sole facing outwards as a protective shell. The shoes’ uppers are made from an organic cotton/hemp mix which, due to its strength and robustness,

is also used for the Slide style. This design features folding heel and toe sections on the uppers, creating an open or closed toe, slip on or sandal style. The soles of the Shucoon are made from environmentally sensitive moulded rubber with pressed canvas for durability and also include a neoprene lining for extra cushioning. Martin added: “I very much see this collection as a first step. “We will be putting the C.L.I.M.A.T.E. label on all the shoes we produce that meet the sustainability criteria we have come up with. “Hopefully this will apply to more and more designs as time goes and and as we keep improving.” The eco friendly theme is also carried through to the brand’s packaging and point of sales. The shoes are shipped in boxes constructed entirely from recycled cardboard and water based glues, and printed with bean ink. The boxes have also been shrunk in size to fit the shoes exactly, reducing wasted space and making them easier to store. When the product reaches the store, there is a recycled consumer book to available, showcasing the brand’s story and environmental aims and also a magnetic floating shoe display made from recycled materials. Martin added: “Communicating what we are about to retailers and to the consumers is very important to us. “We are especially keen to build up new relationships with independents now, after doing most of our initial business

with bigger chains. “I think this will be a success – our shoes have always been popular with smaller stores because they are something different to the other product on the shelves. And this is what independents are looking for, particularly when times are as difficult as they have been lately. “We are also keen to start reaching out to the customer directly and are considering the idea of introducing our own pop-up stores and shop-within-shop concepts in the near future.”


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Editor’s comment

Out on a Limb cover story

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Louise Cordell Editor

What’s in store for our industry? THE start of the New Year is a great time to be planning for the future – the question is, how far ahead should you be looking – Next season? Next year? Planning for the longer term is the best way to guarantee success, especially when times are tough, but without a crystal ball it can be hard to know what to do for the best. This issue, OOAL comes to the rescue with invaluable advice from top futurist Graeme Codrington, who has cast his expert eye forward over the next five years to see what’s in store for the world of retail and how you can make the most of the changes. Also looking at the best things to come – check out our Retail Technology feature, reviewing new products and ideas that are set to change the way people shop forever. Finally, our Show Preview should provide all the information you need to start planning your trade event visits and start stocking up for a successful year. Look out for OOAL at Pure, Moda and GDS and, in the meantime, keep following our tweets at www.twitter.com/ OOALMagazine to keep up to date with the latest news and to contribute to our upcoming features.

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A classic approach to contemporary styling FOR autumn/winter 2011 Hush Puppies lives up to its name as the leading casual shoe brand. The 1958 Collection is a true celebration of Hush Puppies heritage, taking inspiration from the brands archives to re-create some of their classic styles. The 1958 Collection brings forward Hush Puppies original comfort, offering a classic approach to contemporary styling.

The washed suede Brogues are the main star of the men’s 1958 collection and the ladies are all inspired by the man tailoring look. Maximizing on Hush Puppies heritage, this vintage inspired collection is a true reflection of how the brands values of comfort are never compromised by styling within Hush Puppies. For AW11, Hush Puppies continues to develop its successful Body Shoe

and launches its sister product ‘Twist to Tone’, a revolutionary all in one interval training shoe. The product features a heel which twists; in normal mode the shoe provides stability when the toning sole function is not desired. Turn the heel 180 degrees and it becomes a toning shoe. Wearers will be able to log on to the Hush Puppies website and download a training program, in order to build up their fitness levels gradually. This revolutionary concept has been incorporated into a knee high boot, fur trim ankle boot as well as a Mary Jane and trainer style shoe. The styling of all these means that there is no need for ladies to carry two pairs of shoes with them, as Twist to Tone combines both a casual and training shoe into the one. Hush Puppies latest offering of ‘Twist to Tone’ is a complete design innovation within the wellness market and places the brand at the forefront of this trend with this first to market product. For the children’s collection, only Hush Puppies are able to offer a unique set of precisely calibrated foot beds for each shoe, allowing each foot to be fit individually for both width and depth. For AW11, there is an extensive back to school offering providing a wide array of choice. Hush Puppies will be exhibiting at Moda Footwear on Stand X4. For more information call Andy Cockayne on: 0207 860 0100 or visit: www.hushpuppies.com/uk Features


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Brand bids to attract new customer group BRAZILIAN leather footwear brand Anatomic and Co is launching its most comfortable outdoor footwear ever.

Joao Conrado, said: “The key principle to stay competitive in the current climate is to always adapt to the changes of the market.

The brand’s new autumn/winter 2011 collection is set to be unveiled at Moda Footwear and aims to attract a whole new customer group.

“It is also very important to always listen to our customers and, with their help, improve our products and expand our collection.

The designs have been made more contemporary, ranging from leather trainers and casual slip-ons to classic brogue-like Chelsea boots.

“We have received numerous requests for waterproof and warm lining boots with our signature comfort features and this season we can finally offer a strong product line.”

Casual range features new looks for season Base London’s casual fashion footwear brand Fish ‘n’ Chips is featuring a range of new looks for autumn/winter 2011. The designs are more style led, using

Features

Moda Preview

detailing and trims across the collection of casual shoes and boots. The range focuses on autumnal shade of green, navy and bordo and takes on a sporting influence for the season with casual/sport designs. The boot collection also includes a range of low, mid and high cut styles in materials including furs, felt and oily canvas to create hiking hybrids.

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Romika repeat orders up by 300 per cent ROMIKA are celebrating a successful season with repeat orders increasing by over 300 per cent on the previous year. Popular products include the waterproof and washable winter boots and lightweight comfort styles. Martin Ingram, managing director of Romika in the UK and Ireland, said: “The success of the Romika brand this autumn has just been outstanding, a reflection of great value product that has taken the market by storm. Romika produces excellent quality, stylish comfort footwear at competitive prices. “For the UK and Ireland we have a team of knowledgeable and committed sales agents and support staff to enhance the experience of dealing with the brand.” The new ranges will be launched at Moda Footwear in February on Stand Q18 and at GDS in Dusseldorf this March on Stand B06.

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THE highlights of the Caprice autumn/winter 2011 collection are new, ultra light boot models that weigh in at just 240 grammes. The range also features shoes that weigh less than 100 grammes, while still integrating a range of wellness features. The new collection is focussed on high quality leather materials, with half and full length boots in matt nubuks, velours and high polish finishes. Detailing ranges from knitted braiding and decoration with rhinestones, pearls, chains and stones. The range, which is also available in half sizes, is completely made up of shoes in special widths G and H with robust soles. It also includes narrow and wide boots with different heel heights.

Walking on air with Caprice

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Brand taking strides to broaden its appeal JOSEF Seibel’s autumn/winter 2011 collection features new materials and progressive units aimed at keeping the brand on track to widen its appeal. The brand enjoyed one of its most successful years in 2010 for men’s footwear, now for 2011, rugged casuals in super soft leathers sit alongside versatile footwear and dress products. Martin Ingram, managing director of Josef Seibel in the UK and Ireland, said: “We look forward to presenting our new and extensive ranges to current and future stockists of the Josef Seibel brand, to offer not only what they have come to expect but also something new and exciting. “Our loyal retailers rely on Josef Seibel to produce excellent quality, stylish comfort footwear at competitive prices.” Josef Seibel will be showing at Moda Footwear in February on Stand Q21and at GDS, Dusseldorf in March on Stand A03.

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Moda Preview

Collection looks back to the future

With a back catalogue stretching to 1936 the Van Dal brand has designed, developed and made countless shoes from its Norwich base. The Van Dal Vintage collection celebrates that history and commitment to British manufacturing tradition, with carefully selected, original designs from the archives, updated for 2011. ‘Man tailoring’ inspired looks are the star of the show, with their origins in the 1957 back catalogue.

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Gant opts for rich leathers and suedes for the ladies THE Gant Footwear autumn/winter 2011 collection for men sees the introduction of a rugged boot range, featuring worn out leathers with lace and buckle detailing. Extra light sole units with autumnal uppers have also been added and classic Gant styles continue to play a big part in the winter collection with chukka boots and brogues in a variety of suede and leathers. For women there are contemporary options with a selection of shoe boots in rich leathers and suedes. Fur continues to feature with lined ankle boots and knee highs and riding boots are key, with greys and espressos making up the colour palette.

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Moda Preview

‘My feet’s favourite shoe’ AUSTRIAN brand Legero offers a large range of winter footwear in sizes UK three to nine, including half sizes. The lightweight shoe which carries the slogan ‘My feet’s favourite shoe’ is developed to win over consumers with its superior cushioning and flexibility. All of its footwear is produced with removable insoles and includes the Gore-Tex Products membrane. The autumn/winter 2011 collection will offer a range of styles for both men and women who are looking for the perfect winter shoe or boot. Legero will be showing at Moda in February 2011 on stand S28.

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Alpine sport inspires range Three key looks for the season The new autumn/winter collection from Van Dal has been created to cover three key looks. Clean Lines is a step on from last season’s Simple Life, blending comfort with clean and contemporary styling, the Baroque range features occasion styles in suedes and lizard prints and Bonnie and Clyde provides an homage to Americana with brogue detailing, polished crocs and antique leathers.

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CAMEL Active footwear collection for autumn/winter 2011 has been inspired by alpine sport. The focus of the range lies in waterproof, protective materials and fuctionality with detailing including hooks, rivets, fur and striking sole profiles. Lambskin and woollen linings have been used to provide heat insulation and rubber cup outsoles provide grip and durability. Colourways have been chosen to give the shoes a natural exterior resulting in brown tones, combined with grey, blue, green and black.

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‘The little things you can and can’t see that make our product that extra bit unique and special’ CUSHE (pronounced ‘Cushy’) was born in the summer of 2004. A brand conceived by a group of footwear designers and enthusiasts, we are an independently thinking, design-led footwear brand, based in the UK, offering unique and exciting footwear choices for a dynamic, inspired and confident generation. The Cushe name reflects a way of life that we as a team aspire to and we spend every day refining our art to deliver only the type of shoes that we love to wear ourselves. Cushe was set up as a direct response to the global brands that dominate the lifestyle footwear market. Our aim is to make something a bit different, unique and set apart from the masses, challenging the boundaries of footwear design rather than following trends set by others. We love detail – the little things you can and can’t see that make our product that extra bit unique and special. Because we have the know-how, we also utilise the latest manufacturing techniques, and the most innovative materials to make our shoes conform to your foot’s natural shape, ensuring comfort, protection and

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stability. Each shoe’s design is thought through, making sure that only the best components and constructions are used. See us on stand Y7 Moda Birmingham. For more sales information email: Cushe's UK Sales Manager, Wayne Cupid at: wayne.cupid@wwwinc.com, call: +44(0)7827 446603 or visit: www.cushe.com.

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Moda unveils product zones MODA has announced the names of some of the new fashion and lifestyle footwear brands that will be appearing at this season’s show. Labels appearing at the NEC for the first time next month will include WedgeWelly, Iron Fist, Fly London, Blowfish, Rocket Dog and Sketchers. Also set to appear are top children’s brands such as Angulus, Agatha Ruiz De La Prada, Bobux, Terra Plana and Dino Soles. This season the exhibition has been divided into five key product zones covering all areas of the footwear market. Life – The best names in unisex casual and lifestyle footwear and the biggest names in men’s fashion, including Levi’s, CAT Footwear, Base London and Keds. Boutique – Dedicated to contemporary women’s fashion with exhibitors like Fly London, United Nude, Dkode and Sanita. Essential – The biggest mainstream and comfort footwear brands, from Birkenstock and Josef Seibel to Lotus, Padders and Scholl. Express – In season designs, fast fashion and high volume ranges from Kidderminster, Cortina, Indigo and City Shoes. Kids – The UK’s largest gathering of children’s and infants’ footwear brands, including Lelli Kelly, Geox, Moschino, Robeez, Garvalin and Petasil. Moda has also announced that the Independent Footwear Retail Association’s annual Footwear Awards will once again be held at the February show.

Awards presented will include Best Ladies’ Brand, Best Men’s Brand, Best Children’s Brand, Best Service and Best Representative and, new for this year, Best Comfort Brand. The awards are voted for by retailer members of IFRA and an award will also be presented to the overall Retailer of the Year, voted for by supplier members. Sean O’Connor, Moda’s event director, said: “We are delighted that IFRA has chosen once again to host its prestigious awards evening during our show. “The independent sector is very important to us and this further confirms our exhibition as the essential meeting point for the footwear industry.”

GDS in week-day move THIS season’s GDS and Global Shoes event will be the first to take place completely within the working week. The shows have been moved to take place from Wednesday March 16 to Friday 18 after consultation with trade and industry, in order to meet their needs more efficiently. It is hoped that the change will mean that retailers no longer need to decide between missing out on selling on a Saturday, the busiest day of the week, and being at the trade fair. In March, 1,190 exhibitors from 41 countries will be displaying their collections of footwear, bags and accessories for autumn/winter 2011/12. Kirstin Deutelmoser, GDS director, said: “We are once again expecting a varied and, more specifically, broad based event featuring an exciting blend of market leaders alongside smaller new labels. “Exhibitor interest in all range segments has been high and demand has been particularly great in the Premium and Young Fashion segments.” The event will also feature a comprehensive supporting programme, designed to prepare the retail trade for their order negotiations and daily business. Over the three days, visitors will have the opportunity to see the latest looks in four different cat-

walk shows, attend matching trend installations and take part in some of the 20 seminars where international speakers will discuss key ordering trends and sector specific themes. The GDS website has also been completely redesigned for the new season, with new content available for ‘profashionals’ all year found. The aim of the relaunch is to cement events reputation as an information and trend platform for the international trade business. Kirstin added: “Over the past few months we have predominantly focused on re-designing the website investing plenty of energy to be able to respond to visitors’ and exhibitors’ various needs in an even more targeted manner.”

Moda hosts Made in Britain stage THIS season Moda Footwear will be hosting the latest stage of the British Footwear Association’s Made in Britain initiative. Four of the companies participating in the project will be showcased at the event on a stand especially created by top designer Leyshons. NPS Footwear, Chancery Footwear, Geo-Sol Shoes and Features

Show Guide

William Lennon will be exhibiting their products, which attract business from the UK and overseas with their ‘Made in Britain’ labels. Richard Kottler, BFA chief executive, said: “The collections on display, whilst diverse, are all made to high standards, often with local sourced components and lasts. “We all know the value of prod-

ucts that are made in Britain, but up until now not all of our home grown manufacturers have the deserved recognition of the major British brands. “We are proud to be raising the profile of British made footwear and to bring customers from the home market and elsewhere into contact with these quality products.”

Ethical brand in UK first at Pure THIS season’s Pure London show is set to welcome a wide range of new and returning footwear and accessory brands. At the event, the footwear hall will be split into two areas, Trend Led and Design Led, with new low walling around the extended footwear section to help buyers view all the brands available. Ethical brand Veja is set to show for the first time in the UK, displaying their shoes made from natural latex rubber, vegetable tanned leather and organic cotton. Also in the Design Led section, French brand Accessoire Diffusion, C.doux, Love from Australia, Arche and Rae Jones will be on show. Overall, more than 40 new footwear brands will be showcased at the event including prestigious American brand Frye, which has a huge celebrity following with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhall and Anne Hathaway spotted wearing their designs. Pertti Palmroth, known for luxurious materials and all-weather boots, will be the first brand from Finland to exhibit at the show and other collections new to the UK include Looky, Minnetonka, Sanita, Miz Mouze and Unleashed. Finally, FICE, the leading Spanish Footwear Association, will be bringing a range of brands including Audley, Chie Mihara, Hispanitas, Sixty Seven, Alma en Pena and New Rock. New to the show is the largest ever collection of young fashion accessories with Pure Spirit taking over Earls Court and the Funky and Fresh section housing brands for trendy retailers, including Pantherella, Beta Fashion and Buffalo Private Label. A Premuim Accessories section has also been introduced to complement the womenswear brands and will feature new brands Tatty Devine, Bernstock Spiers, St Erasmus and Mimi. British brand Orit will also be showing it eclective range of jewellery for the first time and Ally Capellino will return for a second season, alongside Comfort Station and Sam Ubhi. Luxury leather brand Bobelle London will present their latest eel skin leather collections and the main hall will also be home to Mischa Barton, Calvin Klein Accessories, Suzy Smith and Zandra Rhodes.

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BRAND SPOTLIGHT

Exciting new girls’ brand Angry Angels to capture 'tweens' market New for Autumn/Winter 2011 is the launch of Angry Angels, an exciting girls’ footwear brand produced by leading children’s shoe wholesaler Start-rite. The new brand has been developed on the back of in-depth ‘tween’ research, which revealed a gap in the market for a range that fulfils the varied physical and emotional needs of girls aged 10+, as well as those of their parents. Susan O’Hare, Start-rite’s Product Director said: “The launch of Angry Angels provides a unique opportunity for both ourselves and our retailers to generate further business from a currently underserved segment of the girls market. “Girls experience a number of physical and emotional changes during the ‘tween’ years, which our market research indicated have a huge impact on purchase decision making. At this age girls start to know their own minds, they yearn independence and have a desire to make their own decisions. Whilst parents are accepting of their daughter’s need to develop and mature emotionally, they still want to approve of these decisions and ensure they are appropriate. “We have developed Angry Angels with these influences firmly in mind, our main aim being to simplify the shoe shopping experience for both girls and their parents, providing a brand which girls want and choose to wear, and their parents are happy to buy.” With the target audience confirming style and comfort as core requirements for their shoes, the Angry Angels range contains seven ‘fashion led’ designs perfect for both school and everyday, all of which are available in whole and half sizes (L1-L8) and medium width fitting (two styles offered in a choice of two width fittings - medium and wide). Brand appeal is enhanced by the range’s collection of eye catching colours including red, purple and pewter metallic, and the added comfort factor of padded memory foam foot beds. RRP starts from £35. The brand will also be supported with dedicated marketing material including: attractively branded draw style box, reusable tote bag and branded free standing POS units aimed to enhance retail appeal. Focused marketing and public relations activities will also be rolled out, to raise brand awareness amongst both girls and their parents, and drive in-store sales.

For more information on the Angry Angels range contact Sales Director Adrian Horne on +44 (0)7771 892255 or via email at adrian.horne@start-rite.co.uk


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Gearing up for winter chills ...

Making the most of the cold winters gripping the UK, Austrian brand Superfit are promoting a new range of warm, lined waterproof boots. The brand has a large collection of these boots for boys and girls in their autumn/winter 11 range. All boots are offered in sizes 21 to 42, with wool linings and removable insoles combined with the Gore-Tex Products waterproof membrane. Superfit will be showing at Moda in February 2011 on stand S28.

AS a product-led company, Pod have spent the last year developing their strongest BTS collection yet, featuring newly developed rubber branding, racing stripe stitching and sporty-grip genuine rubber soles. Highlights include the double strap Velcro style Domino and Dexter, the lace-up option. With quality always at the top of the agenda, Pod have released their ‘Quality You Can Trust’ poster campaign to demonstrate their commitment to both quality and product. Sizes begin at an EU 32 with selected styles continuing through to their XL range. Following much demand from retailers, Podlers infants’ shoes are expanding into the Pod BTS 2011 collection. Aimed at the pre-school age group, sizes range from an EU 27 to 31 and include the girls’ classic MaryJane style, Eclipse and boys’ crisscross Velcro shoe, Jupiter.

Both are available in black and navy ultra-soft leathers with contrasting linings and feature the Podlers’ playful monster characters rubber branding. The new BTS collection will be shown at MODA Footwear on Stand Y3. For more information e-mail: sales@aegisshoes.co.uk or call: 01234 240440

Start-rite unveils fresh new styles for a ‘cooler’ Autumn/Winter 2011 collection Children’s shoe specialist Start-rite continues to add depth and richness to its collections, showcasing for Autumn/Winter 2011 a host of eye catching new designs and stunning seasonal colours to complete a fuller, more charming range than ever before. For girls, golden harvest theme inspired designs are complemented with standout seasonal shades, and a touch of the cosy and warm added to much of the range. Richer purples, dusky pinks, shimmering winter pewter and warm burgundy shades adorn the new seasonal palette across the collection. Key product highlights include an enhanced casual pre-school girl offering, welcoming a number of

Hetty

Features

Ella new styles such as pretty Ella and super Sabrina, many of which are now available in an extended size run of up to small 101/2. For colder, wetter days the choice of girls boots has also been greatly enhanced, now offering 11 different stunning styles across the full range. Key on-trend styles include cute Hetty, and her larger sister Marcella, both made from dyed through water resistant suede with snugly fur trim. Classic equestrian inspired Turmoil is one of three new boot designs now available in up to a large 51/2, with every girl wearing it riding high in the fashion stakes.

Kool for Kids incorporating Kids @ Moda

Primal prints, military inspired designs and science and technology influences heavily feature in the new boys collection. As with the girls range, the boys casual preschool offering also benefits from added introductions of new bump toe styles Trail, Skid and new boot Tread, all available in up to size small 101/2. For back to school, new designs Accelerate and Rotate offer style, comfort and fit perfect for busy feet all day long. Start-rite’s waterproof range, Aqua-rite, also continues to impress parents and children by looking great, whilst keeping feet warm and dry whatever the weather. New styles include Aqua-spray for girls, a great

Aqua - spray

Trail

back to school styled ankle boot, new boys shoe Aqua-stream and boot Aqua-current, both ready to withstand the rough and tumble of every little boy’s antics.

For more information on the range or to contact your local business manager please call our customer services team on +44 (0)1603 595200.

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Froddo is an Italian designed, Croatian made, children's brand with 60 years’ shoemaking experience. The company prides itself on providing high quality children's footwear and fuses comfort, flexibility, and reliability with style. All Froddo’s shoes are leather upper and leather lined with anatomic insoles and the autumn/winter 2011 collection features a wide range of colours and unique designs.

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‘People should be more interested in their feet ...’ NEW research has revealed that, despite warnings from foot health experts, four million children in the UK are still wearing the wrong size shoes. A study conducted at Glasgow Caledonian University has blamed neglect, budget constraints, convenience and fashion for the problem. Dr Gordon Watt, lead researcher, said: “People think of feet as smelly – they often just forget about them, when they should actually take much more of an interest. “Children's feet tend to grow rapidly in the first four years of their life, but it can take up to 18 years for the foot's bones, muscles and ligaments to harden into adult form. “So teenage feet need to be looked after as well as those of smaller children.” Research has shown that one in 10 parents say their children have continued to wear shoes that are too small for them and half admit to only buying new shoes when their children complain their feet are hurting. It also revealed that many neglect the

Kool for Kids incorporating Kids @ Moda

feet because they simply don’t understand the problems an ill fitting pair of shoes can cause – only 40 per cent of those interviewed took into account whether footwear was well fitting and supportive. Cost is another issue, as two fifths of parents admitted to buying shoes that were too big so their children could grow into them over time, saving money, and when it came to actually purchasing footwear, a quarter of parents said they based their decision on the price. Finally, children wanting to follow current fashion trends affect the choices of one in ten parents, and the study showed that this is a particular problem among older children and teenagers. Dr Watt added: “Often fashionable shoes offer very little support. Take the current trend for ballet pumps among girls. They offer no support and are very flat. “If you have an active child running around in them it could lead to Achilles [tendon] problems in the future.”

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Shoes that ‘grow’ with kids’ feet Adidas and Disney team up Adidas and Disney have teamed up to unveil their Spring/Summer 2011 children’s footwear collection. The range features characters including Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Piglet and will be available through retailers and online. The shoes feature transparent outsoles with character applications, multicoloured Velcro fastenings and embroidery.

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Pete Brady, category manager of Adidas Kids, said: “Winnie the Pooh and his friends are synonymous with good times, friendship and trust. “Every child grows up with a close affinity to one of these most beloved characters and the products that we offer are simple, believable and fun – a perfect match between Disney and Adidas.”

Kool for Kids incorporating Kids @ Moda

A NEW children’s shoe, that can be adjusted as the foot grows, has been launched in the UK. Italian company, Magistep, has created the footwear which can be altered according to foot growth, length and widths – covering two and a half sizes. The collection, for two to six year old children, features two patents which allow the shoe to extend with an adjustable key mechanism to lengthen the insole, and a reinforced arch designed to support growing feet. The designs are also produced using only natural, non-toxic, hypoallergenic and recyclable materials. Leonardo Marras, brand spokesman, said: “Craftmanship and a passion for style have been combined in such a way that allows the harmonious development of children’s feet as they grow. “Magistep shoes also help the family budget - parents know how quickly their children’s feet grow and it is for this reason that the cost of shoes is a big chunk of their budget. “With Magistep, this cost can be reduced.” The shoes have been designed by Antico Calzaturificio Regoli and have undergone detailed posture, podiatry and orthopaedic studies carried out at the University of Siena. The first of the design’s patents is a particular insole, which can be extended to fit as the feet grow and can be adjusted using a simple key. The other is a specalised sole and

arch reinforcement, designed to accomodate the proper development of the foot and prevent faulty posture. This has been created using a mechanical drive in a container inside the sole, under the heel. Matteo Modesti, UK distributor, said: “Magistep shoes are not orthopaedic, but rather preventive of feet problems. “They are ergonomically created around the foot, meaning that they have been engineered to support and improve child foot health.”

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Freewaters is the latest new eco brand to hit UK shores – combining a sandal collection with a humanitarian initiative. The brand is launching a range of flip flops that also provide a platform for bringing safe drinking water around the world. OOAL found out more.

Flip flop sales help provide drinking water FREEWATERS flip flops are made from progressive green materials and, for every pair sold, the brand will provide clean drinking water for one person for a whole year. The range is split into three price points and offers men’s and women’s flip flops with biodegradable midsoles, PVC-free rubber straps, recycled rubber soles and premium denim with a solvent free backing. Eli Marmar, brand director said: “We believe access to clean water is a basic human right. With over 3,300,000 people dying every year from dirty water and a lack of proper hygiene, we felt compelled to get involved – and what better way than through creating great sandals. We believe we have created designs that will not only change the way we look at fit, function and comfort, but also provide a platform for bringing safe drinking water to the world through our ProjectFreewaters.org.” The brand’s founders, Eli Marmar and Martin Kim, are two industrial designers who have previously worked designing everything from snowboard boots for DC and wetsuits for O’Neill. Their aim is to make the performance and styling of the shoes just as important as the clean water ethos and to do this they have focussed on integrating patented technical features as well as the latest green materials. Eli added: “Our approach aesthetically is very clean and sophisticated, so as not to be pigeon holed

Features

into beach or surf culture. “Our sandals are styled with streetwear inspired designs and have been created for people who are looking for ‘FitPerfect’ engineering and progressive fashion.” ‘FitPerfect’ is the brand’s name for providing a customised, broken-in feel, straight off the shelf, by using specialised ergonomic support. This is achieved through three design features – a dual density midsole with arch support and cushioning rebound foam in the forefoot, a seamless stretch strap design that eliminates any pressure while walking and a dual density rubber strap with a gel toe post. Eli added: “Our sustainability approach can be summed up by our ‘Green Ninja’ outlook – eco is not just something that we claim, but something that we do quietly and strategically. “As well as the green materials used throughout our range, the shoes are packaged in biodegradable, corn based poly bags and our design studio runs on solar power.” The first project to be funded by the brand’s ProjectFreewaters.org initiative is the creation of a fresh water well in Dago, Kenya – a place that has some of the highest rates of waterborne diseases and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the future, they also plan to launch on the ground projects in other developing countries, and also in places where Freewaters are sold, including in the US, the UK and Europe.

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Retail review As a working mum with two young children, Louise Jones knew all about the challenges of a trip to the shoe shop. So she came up with the idea of removing the stress for parents, by bringing the shoe shop to them. OOAL found out more.

Louise takes shoe shop on the move LOUISE Jones launched Two Shoes, her mobile shoe shop, after becoming frustrated with the experience of shopping for footwear for her own children. Her business idea, which launched in the New Year, was to provide parents with the opportunity to buy their children’s shoes from their own homes, or from their kids’ schools and nurseries, saving them a stressful trip into town. Louise said: “I know it is very important for children to have correctly fitted shoes, so I would always take them into the shoe shop to be measured and fitted. “However, it was a job I always put off until the last second, as I generally found the school shoe shop, with two young boys, quite stressful. “So I thought the idea of a mobile shop was fantastic – as a busy mum I couldn’t see a better way of getting kids fitted and shoes bought, and I was sure that other parents would feel the same.” The schools and nurseries that Two Shoes visits receive a donation for every pair bought and are presented with a cheque towards their fundraising efforts at the end of each term.

An additional incentive for parents means that they can get a 25 per cent discount on every third pair of shoes they buy with Louise’s loyalty card scheme. Louise is also in training for her shoe-fitters qualification and added: “I believe it is very important to take good quality shoes into schools, and they have been very receptive to the idea. “Teachers are always very interested in getting involved, because they see the high quality of the shoes I stock and they are aware of the damage that can be caused to children’s feet by poor quality, ill fitting shoes. “I hope that by offering this service, I can help both schools and parents encourage their children to wear better fitted shoes that will benefit them now and in the future.” Louise currently stocks brands such as Petasil, Ricosta, Start-Rite and Geox, as well as Hi-Tec trainers and football boots, in a range of sizes and widths. She is planning on expanding this range in the future to offer more choice, while continuing to cater for the traditional, high quality, school shoe market.

When she visits schools and homes, her supply of shoes goes with her in her Two Shoes van. This means that parents can take the shoes away there and then, there is no wait for order or delivery, and this is particularly popular with parents who have left new term preparations until the last minute.

shoes checked.

Louise added: “I will be visiting the schools that I work with every eight to ten weeks and hopefully this will give parents the chance to have their children’s feet measured, and also have their existing

“Really it is all about personal service, and making it as easy as possible for parents to buy well fitted shoes – putting the well being of children and their feet first.”

“I will also be teaming up with independent and private schools for their uniform days, where parents stock up on supplies for the whole term –- and this will be a great opportunity to get their footwear buying done at the same time.

‘Guaranteed to keep you dry’ THERE is no disputing Gore’s market leadership position in the hiking and climbing markets. Footwear featuring their technology has helped many an expert as well as weekend walkers conquer their mountains in complete waterproof comfort. Now they are also making the commute to work or the walk to school an equally comfortable experience and an increasing number of Gore’s 60 plus brand partners across Europe are from the lifestyle sector. These brands have men’s, women’s and children’s collections with the same level of durably

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waterproof protection that their outdoors footwear offers. From contemporary designs to casual or traditional styles the choice of shoes and boots using Gore-Tex product technology is vast and each pair carries the company’s unique promise ‘Guaranteed to keep you dry’. Today, Gore-Tex brand insistence is at an all time high with research showing that more consumers than ever specifically requesting the brand by name. This growth has been achieved through an integrated communications strategy including advertising,

sales promotions, direct response marketing and PR. By having the right mix, Gore provides clear, consistent messaging for the consumer. Retailers report that customers are increasingly demanding a perfect combination of value, comfort, performance and style, so looking at the selection available from Gore’s brand partners for AW11 – some of which are showcased in a new catalogue inserted in this month’s issue – the brand is poised to capture an even wider audience. For more information visit: www.gore-tex.co.uk. Features


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Issue of the issue ... 2011 looks set to be another challenging year for independent stores and retailers are looking for the best ways to protect and future-proof their business. To provide some essential advice, OOAL hears from Dr Graeme Codrington, futurist and strategy consultant from international consultancy company,TomorrowToday. Here, he takes a look at the future of the retail industry and what changes and trends are likely to directly impact the independent high street stores:

The future for independent retailers? Technology: It is important to accept that internet shopping will continue to grow and will be the biggest threat to bricks and mortar retailers. You either have to join in by offering a significant internet presence, or offer something that can't be done online – or both! Internet-based shopping will need to become a lot more interactive, making use of augmented reality, 3-D viewing options and live Internet Messaging. However, there are also experiences that can't be had on the internet, and this is what retailers need to focus on. These would include:  Creating shopping experiences. The look, feel and ambience of your store needs to have something special, unique and noteworthy about it.  Use the senses. Smell, taste and feel are all things that cannot be accessed through the internet make the most of them.  Create a community of people who are passionate about your store and what you sell. Too many retailers focus only on how to create connections between themselves and their customers, but you also need to find ways to create connections between your cus-

tomers themselves, so that you can build a fan base, a tribe, a community of passion around your store and your brand.  Create reasons for people to come to your store.  And give them someone – a real person – to connect to when they come. Your social media presence should be linked to real individuals, not a just a corporate presence.  Surprise people. The best recent example of this is what KLM did at Schipol airport during the recent holidays. They watched online for people using social media check-ins with geo-location sites like Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places. They then did a quick search of that person's social media profile to find what they liked, bought an appropriate small gift for them and then, using their picture, scoured the airport to find them, wish them a good trip and give them a personalised gift. It cost very little but made a big impression. (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p qHWAE8GDEk)

Demographics: Many retailers are youth obsessed, and it is good to be focused on getting the next generation into your store – your long term survival depends on it. But don't forget about older

generations. Besides the fact that most of them are much more likely to want to come and shop in a high street retail store, there are very good reasons for having a specific strategy for older shoppers. More than half of all the people who have ever turned 80 are still alive, and the Baby Boomer generation (born after World War II and into the 1950s and 60s) are about to start retiring. Except they won't retire – most of them are planning to continue working in one way or another. The 50 to 70 year old age group also own about half of the wealth and control over half of the disposable income of this country. So you must not ignore this age group – and remember, they are a group that is used to having things made especially for them. You need to do that too.

Ethical Consumers: The age of transparency is arriving and retailers need to prepare themselves. Your customers will increasingly be demanding to know the ethics behind your products and your company. You need to make sure that you and your supply chain are as ethical as you can possibly be, have this infor-

Dr Graeme Codrington mation available and make sure your customers know about it. For more information and advice visit: www.graemecodrington.com.  What do you think? Will these strategies work for you? Let us know by e-mailing OOAL at: lcordell@whpl.net.

‘You need to make sure that you and your supply chain are as ethical as you can possibly be, have this information available and make sure your customers know about it’ Features

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product showcase product showcase product showcase Luxury collection finds its land legs INSPIRED by the sheepskin trend at the Milan and Paris fashion shows, Chatham Marine’s winter 2011 collection features the lining across a range of cabin slippers, ankle boots and deck shoes. Philip Marsh, MD, said: “Our sheepskin cabin shoes were big sellers this winter, exceeding all expectations. Originally designed for wearing on board yachts, they work just as well indoors as luxurious slippers. Now, we have extended the range to include boots and deck shoes, offering both style and comfort whether the customer is on deck or walking on the street. This collection gives us and our retailers an opportunity for even greater growth in our winter business.”

Wellies make a splash ... BRAZILIAN lifestyle brand Havaianas has announced the launch of its first wellie collection at Selfridges Shoe Gallery in April. High street chain Office will then stock the range exclusively until mid July, when it will be available to other retailers. The brand’s range already includes flip flops, trainers, high tops and espadrilles and the wellies have been created for men and women, in eight colours and patterns, to complete the collection. Richard Shetliffe, UK country

manager, said: “Wellies will form an important category within our brand extension product mix. “We are launching with one classic style in eight vibrant colour combinations and prints, including our ‘always summer’ advertising campaign image. “The UK has a well established retail network for wellies and is therefore strategically important and right for the global launch.”

Italian brand combines fashion edge with technical features Product showcase

A cross between a trainer and a shoe Page 31

Celebration for Californian brand Page 31

New collection is putting comfort first

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Cozy Crocs ... CROCS has announced new footwear lines for men, women and children for Autumn/Winter 2011. The range includes a suede and faux fur Cozy collection and a more tradition Cobbler collection. There are also Crocs Tone shoes which feature leg shaping technology and a specialised footbed to provide more comfort for feet. Finally the brand is introducing a new line of sneakers, for adults as well as children, including hi-tops, lace ups and slip ons and styles just for kids, featuring water resistant Kosmoboots and Hello Kitty designs.

THE innovative and stylish Scarpa Lifestyle collection hits stores this spring and is bound to set any footwear display alight with its vibrant colour pallet. Scarpa have broken out into the lifestyle sector after being at the helm of the outdoor world for many years. The Italian brand has recognised the opportunity to combine technical features with a fashion edge to create a collection which will fulfil the needs of the high street. Three styles adorn this cocktail infused range; the Mojito, Cosmopolitan and Caipirinha which all draw on Scarpa’s footwear experience while using on-trend styling and colourways. The popular Mojito heads up the collection and is the perfect choice for men and women.

Combining a Vibram sole unit with a suede upper ensures support and comfort at all times, while its front toe rand not only provides great styling but protects the shoe from the elements meaning the Mojito can be worn for many seasons to come. For Autumn 2011 the Mojito is transformed to stand up to the plummeting winter temperatures. A luxurious furry lining will keep toes cosy warm at all times while the upgraded non slip sole unit means icy conditions aren’t a problem. To see Scarpa’s current collection please visit: www.scarpa.co.uk or call the Mountain Boot Company on 0191 269 0121 for further information.


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product showcase product showcase product showcase

Onitsuka Tiger and Berlin-based fashion label Reality Studio have joined forces to create a limited edition women’s high top trainer. The Fabre Light RS will be available in the UK exclusively through Author Shoes and AuthorShoes.com. The style has been created by Reality Studio designer, Svenja Specht, who has used multicultural and androgynous influences as inspiration. Features include fringing, laser cut stripes and golden rivet detailing combined to create a cross between a trainer and a leather shoe.

Californian eco-sneaker brand Simple Shoes has announced it will be showing its autumn/winter 2011 collection at Pure. The range highlights at the show will include the E.Benedict, an eco certified suede desert boot made with organic cotton and biodegradable outsoles; and a range of cold weather inspired sneakers that feature oiled leather, thermal insoles and outdoors style details. To celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2011, Simple will also be showing its original skate inspired O.S Sneaker that has been reworked to incorporate a new retro printed lining designed by the cult artist Andrew Holder.

New collection putting comfort first LOMER has been making high quality, affordable footwear for over 35 years. Though not that well known at the moment, Lomer shoes have previously enjoyed a stellar reputation amongst walkers, trekkers and those who just want to escape to the country. In 2011 Lomer are going to be working hard to re-establish themselves in the UK. Having just signed off on a new distribution deal, everyone involved is excited at the prospect of bringing high-quality, comfortable footwear back to the feet of Britain. Having only recently signed up to work with the brand we asked Dave Brown, of UK distributors DB Outdoor Systems to tell us what makes Lomer so special? He said:

“I think, what’s so great about Lomer is that they put comfort first, everything about Lomer boots is designed to provide a good fit and use only high quality materials. “That makes a big difference, the customers we already have here in the UK have been really impressed.” The Lomer range encompasses a variety of comfortable, handmade and sturdy leather shoes starting from just £69, through to water resistant leather walking boots from £99. The highlight for 2011/12 looks set to be the Atos (pictured), a lovely new après and winter boot with a stitched nubuck leather upper and a cosy sheepskin lining. In addition it will feature a grippy Vibram sole unit and weighs in at just 790g per pair. The RRP is £129 inc. VAT and it will be debuted at Munich’s ISPO show. For more information call DB Outdoor Systems on: 01539 733842, e-mail: lomer@dboutdoor.com or visit: www.lomer.it/uk.

Scarpa launches new lifestyle range OUTDOOR footwear brand Scarpa has launched a new lifestyle range for autumn/winter 2011. The designs feature warm winter linings and non slip soles. Each design comes in a range of colourways from the brightest, eye catching colours for an individual look to more subtle shades for understated appeal. Scarpa’s aim with this launch is to create a collection that is designed not only for style and quality, but to appeal to people who want something more from a casual shoe.

Product showcase

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Practical and functional with fashion appeal

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THE Healthy Back Bag Company has announced it will be launching three new ranges at Moda. Joining the collection is a ‘Studded Leather’ design, made from full grain, hard-wearing leather and a ‘Biker Bag’ style in black leather with chrome zips. The brand is also continuing is collaboration with award-winning, woven textile designer Margo Selby, with the release of a new, limited edition collection. This range will consist of four different XS sized bags in a variety of

bright designs. All the new styles come in the brand’s specialised teardrop shape which coutours to the body to make heavy loads feel lighter. Priscille Chase, MD, said: “Our new ranges offer something for everyone from the chic glamour of Studded Leather to the striking, innovative and unique Margo Selby Collection. “Our bags are not only practical and functional but also offer fashion appeal and desirability giving them the edge over other competitors.” This year the Lexus collection breaks more fashion boundaries, launching a brand new fashion range based on platforms, with styles helping you stand out from the crowd as well as match the shoes with your outfit. On display at Moda in Birmingham and the British Bridal Fair in Harrogate will be a new handbag range focused on the same type of look. The usual range will also be on display with more new styles with handbags to match, available to buy in cartons or single pairs.

Accessories

Gossip Girl actress shows new range Page 33

Future’s bright in acccessories Page 33

X-Factor’s Cheryl creates collection Page 33

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Italian car brand gearing up to produce exclusive bags ITALIAN car brand Alfa Romeo has unveiled two exclusive limited edition bags, designed by students from Central St Martins College of Art and Design in London. The specially-commissioned bags were created as part of Alfa's centenary celebrations this year and to help support young British fashion talent.

Fifteen students from the College submitted bespoke designs for consideration, taking inspiration from the Alfa MiTo model and the creations from students Tamara Elliot and William Hendry were chosen to be produced for a limited run. Tamara said: “I wanted to design a bag that worked with the car and the requirements of travelling.

“I was inspired by classic garments and boot bags and I developed these ideas into a bag that changes shape and function to be versatile enough to use in every situation.” The two bags are prototype designs for Alfa Romeo UK who will now look at producing a limited range of both in the near future.


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Amishi will be exhibiting its collection of luxury evening clutch bags at this season’s Moda. The bags, which are made in India, are intricately beaded using semi precious stones such as rose quartz, rubies, jade, emeralds and yellow amber, as well as Swarovski crystals imported from Austria. The brand will also be showing its ‘Luxury’ bespoke range, consisting of more structured clutches in Mother of Pearl and crystal, made in America. Designer Amishi Dhanuka, said: “Amishi handbags are handcrafted using the finest crystals, shells, mother of pearl and semi precious stones. “Inspired by nature, Amishi clutches create a spiritual balance using the elements of the world: water, fire, earth and air.”

Brand bags actress for sexy marketing campaign MARC Ecko has announced that the marketing campaign for its new handbag collection will feature actress AnnaLynne McCord – star of 90210. Marc Ecko said: “AnnaLynne is a proper bombshell. She makes my heart skip a beat – she’s got a great sense of style and a good vibe.” In the campaign, she poses while wearing only the handbags, and the images will be launched in March. Anna Lynne added: “I had so much fun shooting the Marc Ecko campaign, wearing nothing but the amazing handbags – the ads are going to be so sexy!”

Singer rings the changes ... CHERYL Cole has collaborated with creative jeweller de Grisogono to create a new capsule ring collection. The first model from the line has been released to coincide with the launch of her single ‘Promise This’.

The ring is designed to be worn on the little finger and features rose gold and blackened silver, delicately cut to the word “Promise”. Cheryl said: “I love my promise ring, I’ve always loved pinkie rings, they’re cute, trendy and so cool.”

Fatlip is looking forward to the best accessories trends for spring/summer 2011, with key colours including reds, pinks, purples and turquoise. Other trends featured range from block colours and strips to oversized patters and florals. The brand’s Saskia collection includes chunky bangles and cuffs, large pendants and hand painted necklaces.

Gossip Girl actress Kelly Rutherford has designed a new handbag range for QVC. The TV star has created a five-piece collection of clutches and totes for the shopping channel and said: “The bags are timeless and affordable. “I designed them for the chic working mum as well as the sophisticated urban girl on-the-go.” Another member of the show’s cast, Blake Lively, has recently been announced as the new face of Chanel and will appear in the French fashion house’s campaign for its new Mademoiselle handbag line.

Accessories

Dutch fashion label Bagsac has launched ‘Heritage Handbags’, its autumn/winter 2011 collection. The designs have been based around the motto ‘Style is Forever’and the range includes a wide range of styles, materials and luxury details. Nanda Hofman, designer, said: “With its strong lines combined with pale and rose gold luxury clips, chains and other accessories these bags are here to stay. “Even if you were to dress in a simple pair of jeans and top, a Bagsac bag from the new autumn collection will make it a celebrity outfit every time.”

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Top retail technology companies have been displaying their latest and greatest inventions at the National Retail Federation’s 100th Annual Convention. The event attracts exhibitors from more than 74 countries and provides seminars, a show floor and networking opportunities for the biggest names in retail. OOAL takes a look at the best new products and ideas that will be making their mark in 2011.

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Mobile assistant improves efficiency A MOBILE selling assistant that lets store workers complete entire transactions with customers without leaving their side was launched by Starmount. ‘Engage’ aims to help retailers provide a more efficient, personalised store experience for customers, from point of interest to point of sale. Jerry Rightmer, Starmount’s chief technology officer, said: “With the advent of the smartphone as a personal shopping device, retailers are now faced with customers that are, in many cases, better equipped and more knowledgable than staff. This technology gives stores the chance to extend the power of their web systems to a mobile platform – helping staff have more meaningful and personalised interactions with customers and leading to more effective selling.”

Business and technology

Why music can hit all the right notes Page 36

A new kiosk designed to help customers shop seamlessly across multiple channels was showcased by the NCR Corporation. The SelfServ provides customers with an interactive, self service user experience – while they are shopping in store. Lyle Sandler, NCR Coporation vice president, said: “It has been designed for consumers who now want to be able to connect with a retailer out of the store – for example on the internet at home or on a smartphone – and then continue shopping in store. “It can also make use of application such as ‘Endless Aisle’, where retailers can bring their online shopping into the store and ‘Customer Loyalty’, which enables stores to extend the reach of frequent shopper programmes.”

Shoppers engage with mobile specific websites SHOPPERS are over 50 per cent more likely to purchase from retailers that have mobile specific websites, according to industry expert William Rosen. Speaking at the NRF Convention, the chief creative officer at Arc Worldwide gave his wake up call to the many retailers that don’t yet have one. He went on to describe the main focus areas for launching a successful mobile initiative. He said: “Even though half of all mobile phone owners are mobile shoppers, they are not all equal. “A very small group are actually driving the majority of mobile shopping - and these ‘heavy mobile users’ generate ten times more shopping than ‘light users’. So far, the heavy user group has led the way, but future growth will come from lighter users who will have a different outlook.” He also pointed out that categories of product need to be considered individually, as some shoppers’ purchases will be more suited to promotional activities like receiving money off vouchers whereas others, particularly lower priced items, are more suitable for earning loyalty reward points. Finally Willam added that there is a need for both mobile sites and apps, as having to choose between the two can rob users of the experience they are looking for. They can then be used to cross promote each other and, combined, they can offer a more fluid and functional shopping process.

Making the most of video technology

Motivate staff in these tough times Page 36

Receipt service can cut clutter Page 35 December/January 34 February/March2010/11 2011

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HOW and why retailers should be making the most of video was the subject of one of the keynote sessions at the NRF Convention. Craig Wax of Invodo taked about how one of the biggest challenges retailers face today is knowing which technologies are worth investing in and which aren’t. He said: “In 2010 30 per cent of traffic on the internet was driven by video and by 2013 many predict that this will rise to 90 per cent. “So if people are watching video for

entertainment and news, isn’t it logical that retailers should see it as an essential tool?” Craig pointed out that 65 per cent of people learn visually, while only 25 per cent learn by what they hear, so someone who sees a video is more likely to buy and less likely to return a product. He added: “Putting sight and sound together just makes sense. Instead of relying on text product descriptions, online retailers can move to videos, which not only drive conversion, but also cut down on the need for cus-

tomer service.” He also offered some top tips to retailers interested in adding video to their websites:  Pick your products – rely on the 80/20 rule and choose your top 20 per cent of products to display through video.  Pick more complex products, because simple ones don’t need video display as much.  Be wary of product lifespans and balance this with the investment put into the videos.


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Applying the footwear franchise opportunity to new markets By Danielle McCormick, Solicitor, Thomas Eggar LLP MOST women I know have a passion for shoes and handbags, but few turn such passion into a successful business venture. Sarah Fitzgerald, owner of ‘In These Shoes’ is one of those few who have not only achieved this, but done so at a time when the economy has not proved to be the ideal environment for new entrants into any market. The shoe and handbag retailer, In These Shoes (www.intheseshoes.co.uk) which was launched in 2008, has taken the traditional party sales model to a new level.

It provides its customers with a reason to celebrate their purchasing habit through its core business of ‘party shoes’, both as a concept and a product. By offering its customers the opportunity to indulge their passion for shoes and handbags, over their favourite tipple in their own home, ‘In These Shoes’ have found a great forum for women of all ages to have fun and purchase. It is testament to its success that ‘In These Shoes’ was recently voted ‘Best New Business’ in the New Forest Business Partnerships awards and a finalist in the ‘Everywoman in Retail Awards’. So successful has the business

been that ‘In These Shoes’ is now offering an exciting franchise opportunity to the market by providing those with a passion for ‘BSH’ Business, Shoes and Handbags, with the opportunity to run their own franchise. Sarah Fitzgerald said: “In a market where everyone is looking to stand out from the crowd by putting their best foot forward, we believe we are putting together a blueprint to stay ahead of the competition by applying the franchise model to what we believe is a winning formula.” With real excitement being generated already it will not be long before this innovative offering is in all of our backyards.

CEC not to seek renewal of anti-dumping duties THE European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC) has confirmed it will not seek a renewal of EU anti-dumping duties on Chinese and Vietnamese shoe imports. These tariffs – 16.5 per cent on Chinese and ten per cent on Vietnamese shoes – are due to expire on March 31. The decision has been made as the CEC has obtained strong guarantees that fair trade and competition will be respected. This includes guarantees from the EU Commissioner that all imports will be carefully monitored on a day to day basis to see

whether no new dumping and/or other unfair trading practices reemerge, again causing damage to the European industry. In that case, the CEC has confirmed that it will immediately initiate new actions. Vito Artioli, CEC president, added: “While the EU industry has not yet completely recovered, we are prepared to accept unrestricted trade and fair competition and give third countries importing into the EU a fair chance, but will remain vigilant. “We are satisfied that the EU Commission will take up all these issues at the highest level in its

quarterly bilateral meeting with both the Chinese and Vietnamese authorities. “The Chinese and Vietnamese producers and exporters must now act in accordance with international rules and their authorities must guarantee fair trade and competition as well as unrestricted access to their respective markets for European shoes. “Our members are strongly committed to trade in accordance with international standards and regulations and this decision reflects this commitment.”

Industry prepares for golfing competition THE International Golf Championship of the Shoe, Leather and Allied Trades in 2011 is to be held in Cheshire at the De Vere Carden Park, on June 15, 16 and 17 2011. The Championship in Killarney last year was very successful with 130 competitors, which raised and increased amount for the Trade Charities of £15,250, (Footwear Friends and LHTBI). Manufacturers, retailers, agents, wholesalers and distributors from the footwear and leather industries competed for trophies, along with numerous visitors and guests. The main Championship is played over 36 holes; this includes the Ladies Championship and the visitors and guests competing for the Marlone Trophy. There is also a Start-rite sponsored competition open to all competitors, and like the main Championship is based on full handicap Stableford format. The main social event of the Championship is the banquet, which is held at the hotel on the Thursday evening, with John Martin as the guest entertainer. Entry forms are being sent out now and the entries close in April with the draw being notified to all competitors in May.

Email receipt service can cut the clutter A LONDON-based company has come up with a new retail service that aims to change the way stores and customers use receipts. yReceipts have created an application that allows customers to receive their receipt via email, rather than on paper – reducing clutter and the likelihood of losing important information. The system gives shop assistants the option to email or print a receipt, or both, by working with the store’s existing EPoS system. Every emailed receipt can also be tailored to include the store’s advert or relevant marketing message to drive traffic to an online Business and technology

store, encourage customers back to the high street stores or generally give the brand and products further exposure. Alexander Stegmann of yReceipts, said: “Another benefit is that you can get your store talked about and win new customers by having satisfied shoppers telling their friends on Facebook and Twitter about your brand - all through one click on the paperless receipt. “You can also receive real time customer feedback, sent directly from the email receipt, and gain additional information about what shoppers think about your service and products. Many large retailers such as Apple

already offer email receipts and the market is growing at a fast pace. The yReceipts system also offers features including automatic newsletter subscriptions for customers. Alexander added: “Having a purse stuffed with paper receipts seems rather antiquated in our digital world today. “Shoppers trust and rely on email receipts for online purchases and a system like this can give them the same convenience for their offline purchases as well.

“Our vision is to revolutionise receipts and change their role from crumpled bits of paper to a new marketing and communication gateway.”

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New event for retail industries THE Retail Business Technology Expo is a brand new event focussing on business solutions and technology for the retail industries. As well as a comprehensive range of solutions, it will feature an informative and interactive education programme, incorporating seminars and workshops, plus networking opportunities. Nick Field, event director, said: “When we were in the planning stages of the event and started to engage with the retail industry, it became clear that there was a great demand for an event of this nature. “The Expo has clearly hit a nerve with the UK’s huge and highly influential retail technology industry. “Many of our early supporters stepped forward to serve on the Steering Committee which will ensure the show delivers what retailers are after. “We’ve had an excellent sign up for registrations, with senior people from a range of job titles, from operations to business analysts, as well as IT, from tier one retailers to unique specialist companies across the globe.” The Retail Business Technology Expo will take place on 16 and 17 March 2011 at London’s Earls Court. For more information visit: www.retailbusinesstechnologyexpo. com.

Why music can hit all the right notes with shoppers By Phil Darby, Immedia Broadcast Ltd IN our increasingly competitive marketplace every retailer is keen to gain the edge on their competitors and today in-store, music is a cornerstone of many major retailers’ marketing strategy. Most retailers now know they can influence their customers with music and 78 per cent say they would recommend others to adopt in-store music too. Results speak for themselves. The use of music alone frequently delivers sales increases of over ten per cent – add announcements, commercials and editorial comment and results can be many times that. You shouldn’t underestimate the draw that good music represents to shoppers. Over 70 per cent say that a store with music is more inviting and nearly a quarter claim they would pay up to five per cent more for goods in a store with music. However, like everything else, there is good music and bad music. Immedia Broadcast provides live and AsLive workplace radio for high street stores including like Game, IKEA and HSBC. The company has now also

Bruno Brookes launched Dreamstream – live music streams that retailers can tailor online to suit their customer base. Bruno Brookes, Immedia founder and CEO, said: “A well designed music stream will create the right atmosphere, make customers feel more relaxed, enhance your brand and motivate your sales staff. “Surveys show that up to 90 per cent of customers prefer a shop with music, but it has to be right. “Retailers who pay for their PPL and

PRS licences just to play the radio in their stores could be wasting their time and may even be damaging their business. Instead they should tailor their offering to their brands, customers and employees.” What do you think? Has introducing music to your store increased sales or is it an unncessary extra? E-mail OOAL at: lcordell@whpl.net with your thoughts.

Good employees are a vital asset By Ian Tomlinson, executive chairman, Cybertill 2011 LOOKS like it may be another tough year for retailers and to ensure that they flourish in challenging times, they should look to employees as their most important asset. By motivating employees and promoting a sense of shared ownership everyone will pull in the same direction. Hold frequent briefings and share management information with your staff. Give them the opportunity to ask questions and have the confidence to open the business to them. Make its workings and finances transparent, and remove any sense of ‘us and them’. Being candid with them, treating them as adults not children who

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can’t be told harsh truths, will make them more loyal. Highlight areas that need to change, demonstrate how you plan to manage the business through tough times and work together on strategies. Make sure staff understand the effects of their actions on the business. Encourage candour and give them challenges and the chance to come up with ideas and tactics based on their front-line experience. Employees need to be recognised and compensated for their expertise and for going the extra mile. Lack of recognition is damaging, so make sure to single out star performers and let them to enjoy the admiration of their peers or positive customer comments. Maybe it is time to return to a world where goods were sold, not simply

displayed for self-service – staff passivity should be a thing of the past. Train your till-point operators to ask customers whether they found everything they were looking for. Have a member of staff on the shop floor, gently asking browsing customers the same question. All these approaches will unearth interest or unfulfilled purchases that can be acted upon. Build feedback mechanisms, formal or informal, for staff to report their impressions on what works and what doesn’t. Put to good use observations on where customers linger and handle goods, then buy or don’t buy. Monitor how customers react to promotions and record any anecdotal comments they make. Working more closely with employees can engender a greater sense of solidarity and enable owners and

Ian Tomlinson

managers to dip into a pool of talent and ideas. As staff become more empowered and driven to do a better job, they will become better informed and more motivated. Customers will notice the difference, and this will make it easier for you to turn customers into ‘loyal customers’. Business and technology


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Manolo Blahnik and Rosa Tous

Tous and Manolo Blahnik have announced the launch of an exclusive jewellery collaboration featuring the designer's iconic shoes. The ‘Campari’ shoe design charm, hanging from a gold chain with a diamond button, will be launched in March in 300 Tous boutiques worldwide. Manolo said: “I love Tous because I feel we have many things in common. “We are family-runned businesses, we share Spanish roots and we are both keen on surprising and innovating.” Rosa Tous, brand founder, added: “I am delighted with the agreement. Manolo Blahnik shoes are beautiful and an amazing mix between trends and classicism.”

Danish clog brand Sanita has launched an autumn/winter 2011 collection designed around five different themes. The ranges are Forest Life, Tailored Nature, Fairytale Utopia, Nordic Cowboy and Heritage Retro. Design details include embriodery, animal print, suedes and fur, all on traditional wooden soles. Two designs that look set to be particularly popular are the 70s clog boot in butt leather and real lambskin and the traditional Comfort Boot, recreated for a new season.

Heels continue to reach for the sky ... A NEW platform shoe is being released this year which has a huge nine-inch heel.

A spokesman for the firm said: “The Sky Heel was fuelled by customer demand to mimic the celebrity look.

The Sky Heel will be the tallest shoe available to regular high street customers – who have started to demand higher heels.

“We've seen the five-inch and six-inch, and we've even seen the seven-inch heel.

The 'Sky Heel' will cost under £40 when it goes on sale next year in sparkly red or gold at shoe shop Parmars.

“The trend is bigger, bigger, bigger – and the Sky Heel is the biggest of them all.”

Coming up in the next diary issue of Out On A Limb: dates  More designers than ever are coming up with styles that combine comfort and fashion. In our Comfort feature we take a look at the brands that are doing it best, together with the market’s most up to date innovations.  Men are catching up when it comes to

demand for trend led footwear – so we explore the most popular labels, style predictions and the secondary spend potential of accessories.  Tools like Facebook and Twitter can be invaluable to independent retailers – but only if they are used correctly.

In our Social Marketing focus we hear from the experts and get top tips from business who have made it work for them. If you have any news or views you’d like to share, get in touch by calling: 01226 734694 or e-mail: lcordell@whpl.net.

Contacts Sales

Editorial

Design & Production

Tony Barry – Sales & Marketing Director

Andrew Harrod – Group Editor Judith Halkerston – Group Deputy Editor Louise Cordell – Editor Christina Eccles – Reporter Dominic Musgrave – Reporter

Stewart Holt – Studio Manager

(tb@whpl.net)

Beverley Green – Sales Manager (bg@whpl.net) Advertising Contacts Tel: 01226 734333 Fax: 01226 734477

Editorial Contacts Tel: 01226 734694 Email: lcordell@whpl.net

(sth@whpl.net)

ISPO New Munich Trade Fair Centre, 6-9 February 2011 www.ispo.com Pure Olympia and Earls Court, London, 13-15 February 2011 www.purelondon.com Stitch Menswear 13 - 15 February 2011 Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London www.stitchmenswear.com GDS/Global Shoes Messe Dusseldorf, Germany, 16-18 March 2011 www.gds-online.com MODA NEC, Birmingham 20/02/2011 - 22/02/2011 www.moda-uk.co.uk

Kyle Wilkinson – Design & Production (kw@whpl.net)

Circulation 01226 734695 (24 hour hotline) Email: circulation@wharncliffepublishing.co.uk

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