Bosses at Start-rite Shoes said a sale of the business could be an option as it looks to bring in new investment to take the brand across the globe. The children’s footwear firm sells most of its shoes in the UK, but chairman Peter Lamble said it wanted to export more shoes overseas. However, to do that, the firm needs to attract substantial third party investment, likely to be around seven figures, and Mr Lamble admitted that such an outlay could trigger a sale of the business, though he stressed no final decisions has been taken.

As editor of Footwear Today Magazine, I thought you might like to know about a new footwear industry award. It is called the 'National Shop Front of the Year Award' (by which we mean your window display) and entry is open to all  independent footwear retailers throughout Britain, large or small. The winner will receive £1,500 of holiday vouchers.

Please email your your photos to every time you change your window display, right up until the deadline of 1st January 2014.

Retailers can also be nominated by someone else. The FIA team will contact the nominated retailer to ask them to supply evidence, to be in with a chance of winning this exciting award and the holiday vouchers that come with it!

I do hope that you will consider entering your shop(s) for this exciting new Award.

Cheryl Taylor,
Editor, Footwear Today Magazine.

Datateam Business Media is delighted to announce that Clarks has signed up as overall event sponsor. Founded in 1825, Clarks still remains the number one shoe brand in the UK, and the fourth largest footwear company in the world. Clarks has come a long way since its humble beginnings in Somerset, but has never lost sight of effortless British style.

Remonte, part of the Rieker group is sponsoring a brand new award, 'National Shop Front of the Year'. Managing Director Chris Gorrod explains why: "The window to a retailer is very important for driving footfall. Some retailers spend a lot of time on it and these shopkeepers should be rewarded. This is a great opportunity for Remonte and the industry to reward the hard work that retailers put into their windows."

Last Friday morning Laura West, Secretary of the Society of Shoefitters   had a call on her private phone line from 'Sarah' asking to speak to Compass Footwear regarding advertising and PR for the Footwear Awards.  She asked who was calling and the caller said 'The Society of Shoe Fitters'.  Naturally Laura could not believe her  ears!  She pretended someone had walked into the room and asked her for her landline number to call her back and she gave her the SSF landline  number ....even more flabberghasted.  The woman went on to try to sell her advertising - obviously hoping she would give financial information over the phone.
Laura has reported this to the Fraud Squad, but as their number was 'withheld' they are probably unlikely to trace the source. 
The following message has been put on the home page of the SSF website in the hope that someone may go to the site when the person calls and see that it is fraud, but obviously this is very worrying.
If you would please warn your stockists/members/agents that this is not a legitimate call.  As you know, the SSF does not solicit any form of advertising or take part in any telephone canvassing, so if they get a phone call from the SSF trying to sell advertising for the Awards that they should contact: Action Fraud 0300-123-2040 - Intelligence Report NFRC130700312404.

Marshalls in footwear stems back over 100 years when brothers Arthur and Herbert split there interests between clothing and footwear. Both working for ‘Boss Mags’, Herbert chose to work in the clothing shop at one end of the Shambles in Worcester  and Arthur choosing to work in the shoe shop at the other end.  From there the following generations began opening shops through Herefordshire and Worcestershire.  In 2000 Andrew Marshall started Crosby Shoe Agencies representing Wolky, Country Jacks, and DRS. 

Expo Riva Schuh closes its 80th edition with 10,850 visitors, +1.5% compared to June 2012.  “Expo Riva Schuh is an ever-evolving workshop which celebrates its 80 years looking forward to the future – states Giovanni Laezza, Managing Director of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi. At every single edition, around 3 billion pairs of shoes are sold and concrete  business opportunities continue to multiply. As far as we are concerned, we can only continue to enable this enormous potential to grow, a force that has been built up over the years offering new spaces and new services: for example, this time round we have added 1,500 square metres of exhibition space, involving new countries such as Ethiopia, Greece and Singapore”.

The eighth edition of Inspiramais is approaching: the Exhibition of Design and Innovation dedicated to footwear components and leather articles returns on 10 and 11 July 2013 in the Congress Center Frei Caneca in São Paulo, with the proposals for fall/winter 2014.

The world’s largest graduate fashion show, Graduate Fashion Week, this year welcomes the University of Northampton which is sending its strongest line up of student designers, encompassing the leather heritage that has made Northampton world famous.    On Tuesday 4 June at Earl’s Court 2, the University of Northampton students who have been working all year to complete collections will underline the importance the rich history of Northampton’s leather industry has played in the minds of many of the student’s new concepts in shoe design and leather designs.

A DATE AT RIVA DEL GARDA WITH THE SPRING/SUMMER 2014 COLLECTIONS  From June 15th to 18th the appointment with Expo Riva Schuh once again returns, celebrating its first 80 editions based on a strong international calling and the desire to continue on the crest of the wave of the last edition, which closed with great satisfaction for the results achieved, both in terms of quantity and also for the quality of business which was developed.

The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) has announced a dramatic increase in funding for UK exporters to take part in key international trade shows. In the financial year 2013/4 and 2014/5, UKFT has received a commitment from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) to almost double the amount of money available. Grants for European shows will increase from £1000 to £1500 per show and exhibitors at key US shows will see grants almost double to £2000. For shows in Europe and the US, UK SME companies will have a lifetime allocation of 6 grant supported shows. In addition, for shows in emerging markets, such as China, Hong Kong and Russia, companies will be eligible for a further 6 grants and for these markets the grants will range from £2500 to £3000.

The British Footwear Association (BFA) has announced the appointment of John Saunders in the new role of Sales and Marketing Director. John, 55, has over 30 years experience in the footwear industry, having worked internationally and in export with SSL/ Scholl at director level and in senior roles with US company Brown Shoe Corporation, Florida Group and Start-rite.

Government data on Flying Saucers explains the national obsession of looking for lost socks. Recent reports made public from the National Archive have shown an increasing number of UFO sightings over the United Kingdom since the Second World War; which high-level defence, weather and technology experts have gone to great lengths to explain.  However, the rise of 'flying saucer' sightings has a direct correlation to the steady increase of lost socks over the last decades, which Ministry of Defence officials have been quite unable - or unwilling - to explain, Britain's hardest-working sock subscription service has found out.

Chatham Marine is delighted to announce it has signed up to join Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week’s family of event sponsors as Official Footwear Sponsor to the regatta. Award-winning Chatham Marine combines very British styling and traditional craftsmanship with innovative design to create deck shoes that appeal to today’s sailors, and is ideally matched with this iconic British sailing event

Shooze With Sole, a children's and adults footwear company from Ayrshire, has won 35k as one of 20 finalists in the Government’s Scottish Edge Fund. The award was opened in November last year to companies who had the potential to expand, increase sales and employ staff. Shooze With Sole began in March 2012 and currently has stores in Ayr, Kilmarnock and Troon. The company now employs 13 staff, 2 of them who were previously unemployed through the local council modern apprentice scheme.

Date: 1 March 2013, Place: UK. The Italian shoe & fashion brand Geox and W.L. Gore & Associates havereached an agreement and declared an end to their current disputes regardingcertain GEOX patents in respect of GORE-TEX® Footwear with Gore’s SURROUND™ Product Technology. The agreement reached also resolves all legal disputes between Geox and Gore brand partners and retailers. The disputes had been triggered by the launch of Gore's SURROUND™ Product Technology, which was followed by legal measures in several European countries to secure the intellectual property.

The three ages of an agent (with apologies to Titian)
Why taking back exclusive rights from a distributor may not be such a smart move

Redundant stock can make a huge difference to the lives of those living below the poverty line in communities in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. WJR’s Gifts in Kind provides humanitarian aid directly from the UK to communities in need, normally within weeks. The goods are arranged, sorted and re-packed in our warehouse. We then ship containers to communities in desperate need. At the other end, they are distributed under the strict supervision of professional, locally based community workers. The items are not sold but go straight to those who need them.

The Society of Shoe Fitters has announced that it will be launching National Shoe Fitting Week, under the banner Keep Feet ‘Fit’ on March 25th 2013 – the week leading up to Easter. The SSF, which operates on a non-profit basis, wants to raise national awareness of importance have having footwear fitted, and the vital service independent shoe retailers provide to the public.  We want the public to start thinking about their feet and how they buy their shoes. We are hoping that ALL shoe retailers, not just SSF members, will join us in promoting Keep Feet ‘Fit’ and that they can use this initiative to create their own promotion’s leading up to Easter week – a time traditionally when the media write about feet and footwear and people discard their boots and start thinking shoes, sandals and holidays. Hopefully it will give the trade a much needed kick-start after the cold, wet weather.

  • Azkar generated revenue of EUR 367 million in 2011 and employed a staff of over 3,000
  • Successful partnership since 2007
  • Acquisition strengthens Dachser’s pan-European overland transport network

Have you nominated yet? The Footwear Industry Awards is calling on ALL members of the footwear trade to nominate a retailer or supplier/brand for an award at the 2013 event. You can nominate someone else, or your own company - multiple nominations are allowed via one simple online form.  But be quick! The 30th November deadline will soon be upon us. You can nominate online by clicking HERE or by post; simply download the nomination form and send it back to us.

On 29 November 2012 Fox Williams will be holding its annual agent law seminar. The seminar will be held at its offices at Ten Dominion Street, London, EC2M 2EE.  Registration will be from 6.00 pm with the talks starting at 6.30 pm followed by drinks and canapés starting at 8.00 pm. There is no charge for attending the seminar. The full line up of topics and speakers are:

A staggering 84% of the small-to-medium sized fashion enterprises (SMEs) that were surveyed by independent online and mobile research agency, OnePoll, did not have a mobile site, but 89% believed mCommerce to be essential to the future success of their business. 

UGG Australia is launching limited-edition footwear, available exclusively in UGG Australia stores, to support UK breast cancer charity, The Haven. The specially-designed raspberry-hued Classic Short and baby-pink Ansley, both embroidered with a pink ribbon, will be available to purchase at UGG Australia stores including Piccadilly, Knightsbridge, Manchester, Covent Garden and Westfield London as well as online at during October 2012. This marks the first year of UGG Australia’s partnership with The Haven and is part of a global campaign to support October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month.

GIOSEPPE FOOTWEAR, Spanish brand of young fashionable shoes for the middle
market, is looking for UK agents See Footwear Today Recruitment Section

FRANKLIN, TNMarch 2012 marked the one year anniversary for the flagship Mephisto Shop in New York.  Exceeding sales projections by 37%, it proved to be an expected success.  “We never doubted that this was a smart move for us to make for the Mephisto brand”, stated Rusty Hall, President and CEO for Mephisto, Inc. “We knew New York was the right market for us to launch our U.S. flagship store and the location has proven to be the perfect place to showcase our Mephisto collection”, he added. Located at 1040 3rd Avenue, inTrumpPlaza, the Mephisto Shop has experienced consistent, substantial growth in sales every month since opening.

A recent collaboration between Northampton Museums and Art Gallery, The University of Northampton, Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership and Northamptonshire County Council has secured funding to work towards the establishment of an International Footwear Foundation to be based in Northamptonshire.

Independent shoe shop Doris & Daisy has been recognised by winning through to the finals of the prestigious Dorset Business Awards. The Wimborne based shop, which is fast building an outstanding reputation for the quality and range of their shoes has won through to the final of the Retail Excellence Award.

Chatham announces the appointment of two key new members of staff and a considerable promotion. Joining Chatham is new sales director, Ian O'Connor, product and marketing assistant, Kathryn Lythgoe and Alex Peirce, former product and marketing assistant, has been promoted to regional sales manager.

The Wortmann Group, based in Detmold, continued on its course of growth despite the flagging economic situation in the fiscal year 2011/12 (31st May) and was able to increase sales by 4.3% to EUR 999.3 million (GBP 851.2 million). The previous year saw total sales of EUR 957.7 million. The export quota rose slightly to 52.9% (previous year 52.7%). Among the foreign markets,Russia, theCzechRepublic,Switzerland and theBenelux countries in particular saw above average growth. While the domestic market also enjoyed growth, the difficult economic situation inGreat Britain andIreland led to a fall in sales there. The Asian private label business Novi Footwear, based in Hong Kong andSingapore and with overseas customers, was unable to match the sales of the previous year and had to deal with a drop in sales last year. The Wortmann Group’s collections are sold in over 70 countries and over 15,000 shoe shops worldwide.

Footwear Friends, the footwear industry charity, has announced the sixth year of its prestigious Annual Awards aimed at recognising and helping develop British Design and Entrepreneurial talent. The Awards include substantial cash prizes and probably more importantly a 12-month mentoring programme by senior individuals in the footwear industry. Entry is open to people in the following categories who are determined to build a footwear career in the UK.

Leading casual and outdoor footwear and clothing brand Chatham has agreed a sponsorship deal with eventing champion and future Olympic hopeful, Emma Hyslop. Impressed with the comfort and style of Chatham’s footwear and how practical the clothing is, event rider Emma has chosen Chatham as her preferred brand, to train in and wear when she’s out and about. 

Opening times: 9.00 am to 6.00 pm. RENAISSANCE MANCHESTER HOTEL, BLACKFRIARS STREET, MANCHESTER, M3 2EQ. TEL.0161 831 6015 Multi storey car park next door to hotel. Showing: Sachelle Couture, Vanilla Moon,Olga Berg, Cara London, Caprice.  Zoe & Brian Agencies Ltd

On 10 October Fox Williams LLP, Solicitors will be holding its annual Fashion law seminar, which is free of charge. The seminar will be held at Ten Dominion Street, London EC2M 2EE. Registration will be from 6.00 pm with the talks starting at 6.30 pm and lasting for one hour followed by drinks and canapés. The full line up of topics and speakers are: "Investing in Brand Businesses" For the investee business - what are the potential benefits apart from the cash? What is the investment process? And what are the pitfalls, and how to avoid them. (Speaker is Tom Rowley who is a corporate law senior associate at Fox Williams).

The exclusive UK and Ireland distribution rights for Ipanema, Rider and Grendha have been appointed to G.H Warner Footwear Ltd, effective for the Spring Summer 2013 season.The three brands, produced by Brazil’s largest producer of footwear, Grendene, have enjoyed success since their launch to the UK market.  The premium summer footwear ranges are manufactured in Brazil using 100% recyclable, mould-injected PVC, creating the most comfortable and sustainable flip flops and sandals on the UK market.

Chatham will launch its new sail cloth G2 Professional deck shoes at MODA.  Chatham’s innovative use of the material makes it the first sail cloth deck shoe for the British market. Chatham has designed four styles using Contender sail cloth, two for men – Fibercon and Contender – and two for women – Elysse and Beam. Sail cloth is a tough compound that handles well. It’s an exceptionally lightweight, water resistant and durable material, making it the perfect textile for use in deck shoes. All styles are built on the sole kit used for the successful Schooner and Sloop deck shoes launched last year.

Berlin stays the home base of BREAD & BUTTER – tradeshow for selected brands. With its return in July 2009, BREAD & BUTTER has permanently strengthened Berlin as a fashion location. Since then, the Fashion Week Berlin has strongly gained relevance in the competition with the international fashion capitals such as Paris, Milan and New York. Berlin's dynamics are not comparable to those of any other city. Berlin as a fashion location is clearly on a tear, is clearly way out in front. As a result, the professional visitor cannot manage Berlin in the course of three days anymore. "As the international leading tradeshow, we have a responsibility towards the industry and towards Berlin", says president Karl-Heinz Müller. "Therefore, it is our duty to counteract this situation by offering a solution."

(London, England – 18th July 2012) – THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WALKING AND THAT’S JUST WHAT THEY’LL DO is the perfect lyric to describe THE CICCONE COLLECTION. Bringing his creative flair usually reserved for the more classic arts, painting, photography, art direction as well as interior and furniture design, Christopher Ciccone is now making his foray into footwear design. Melding breakout materials with traditional styles for men, women and children, Ciccone has vowed to “think outside the shoe box.” Sure to make a splash at New York, London and Paris Fashion Weeks in the fall, Ciccone’s bespoke collection can brave the rain, but is certainly not limited to foul weather. Combining leather, rubber and canvas for the fashionable yet functional footwear, Ciccone’s vision is a welcome reprieve to the often un-wearable designs of late.

Colour is key for SS13 and the new Superfit collection is full of vibrancy and details which children and parents will love. New styles have been added to provide stockists with a range of shoes for SS13 which will be just perfect for all adventures that children pursue. The collection is for children of all ages with all footwear being produced in sizes 18 – 43. Superfit  will be presenting the SS13 Collection at the following Footwear Fairs & Stockrooms

New season, new look from LEGeRO. The SS13 collection features 5 new styles to give the most comprehensive casual comfort collection from LEGeRO to date. If you are looking for Sneakers, Pumps, Heeled Sandals or Lifestyle Trainers, LEGeRO SS13 can offer them all. Block colour is a key trend once again in SS13 and is a main feature of the collection. Soft Nubuck, Nappa and sporty Technical fabrics are combined to give a modern look to the Uppers. The sole units are direct injection PU to enable LEGeRO to offer a lightweight flexible shoe.  All styles are produced in UK sizes 4 – 9 (including ½ sizes) and all shoes have a removeable insole.  

Under the Distance Selling Regulations, which apply to all sales to consumers at a distance (e.g. online shopping), consumers must be given some basic information, including that they have rights to cancel their order and get a refund. The ECJ has ruled that it is not enough to just place those rights on a website and provide a hyperlink - which many retailers do - and that consumers must actively "receive" this information rather than just be told where to access it online.  The new ruling means that retailers cannot be certain that they have actually banked the cash for a sale for three months, because a consumer could change their mind and ask for a refund at any time during that period.  

Step2wo has joined forces with The British Heart Foundation’s Mending Broken Hearts Appeal to create The Heart & Sole collection; a line of children’s shoes available exclusively at Selfridges from July.Three stylish mums, Rachel Stevens, Charlotte Church and Jasmine Guinness, have each designed unique shoes and boots for the collection. We had the pleasure of talking to them about the cause, their inspirations and their shoe collections. 

Starting today, Superfeet Worldwide Inc. assumes responsibility for all its European distribution through a new operations centre in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Superfeet will also begin distributing its products and systems directly to retailers in the UK and Ireland.

The story about Angulus begins with Willy Madsen. Or rather, it begins with Willy’s father who in 1904 opens a shoemakers workshop in Nørrebrogade in Copenhagen. Willy is a school teacher at first and quite content with his trade. It is only years later that he enters the story of his father’s company – it is Willy who in 1928 turns the shoe business upside down with the ergonomic Angulus shoe.

The 67th Championship took place at the North Berwick Golf Club and the Glen Golf Club in Scotland, both with spectacular views over the Firth of Forth and the Bass rock. Nearly one hundred competitors braved the strong winds and rain over the three days of the Championship. The Trade Banquet on the Thursday night at the Marine Hotel raised a record amount of over £7000 on the night for the Trade Charities. Richard Kottler of Footwear Friends and William Tusting from the LHTBI received cheques from President Gordon A Wilson.

Crocs, world leader in innovative casual footwear, has teamed up with leading taxi advertising company Ubiquitous, to deliver eye-catching ‘croc-skin’ designed cabs across London. The partnership will help Crocs springboard its brand campaign in front of a new audience across London during its 10th  Anniversity year. Crocs has outstanding brand awareness but has evolved over its 10 year history. This campaign aims to highlight this evolution by grabbing consumer attention, encouraging them to take a fresh look at Crocs. The brands global range now includes over 300 new trend-right styles to explore, all of which benefit from the same comfort and innovation found inside the brand’s iconic clog.

Charles Clinkard is set to add a new Gabor concession to Dublin’s largest department store, Arnotts. The Gabor collection will be available in Arnotts from 5th June, offering the quality and style associated with the Gabor name. Arnotts was established in 1843 on Henry Street, and it is at this flagship store where the new Gabor concession will be found.

Innovative men’s footwear brand DISPAIR London has embarked on an exciting new collaboration with Depaul UK, the largest national youthhomelessness charity in the UK, to offer the opportunity for one young person to be a guest designer of a limited edition DISPAIR London shoe.

Channelling the knowledge of ground feel and connection which is so integral to the success of the Merrell Barefoot range, Merrell has innovated once again to introduce the M-Connect Series for Spring 2013, drawing on 30 years of leading outdoor performance. Designed for a new emerging segment of outside athletic consumers Merrell M-Connect will again drive incremental sales growth in the outdoor market.

Henderson, Nevada, June 12, 2012-pediped® footwear, a leading company in the children’s footwear industry, has appointed Matt Wright as Sales Director for the United Kingdom and Ireland region. With over 12 years of commercial experience in the footwear and fashion industry, he will work to develop UK-specific styling and new business opportunities in the UK market. Prior to this appointment, Wright was a Senior Sales Manager at GEOX, one of the world’s largest shoe manufacturers, where he played a pivotal role in the development of the brand’s presence in the UK. Wright graduated from the University of Plymouth in 2000 and began his career in the footwear industry at Clarks. “We are excited to add Matt to our team” said pediped® Managing Partner, Rudy Glocker. “He has earned an excellent reputation as a children’s footwear specialist and will help us drive the brand in the UK and Ireland. We are pleased to welcome Matt to the pediped® family.”

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