The number of visitors to the 21st Modacalzado + Iberpiel, the International Footwear and Leather Fashion Trade Fair in Madrid, was down by 15 percent from the previous edition to 14,557 professionals. The organizers of the fair, held last March 7-9, believe this was linked to Spain’s general election, held on Sunday March 9. According to the organizers, attendance was higher over the first two days than previously, but fell on the last day when the election was taking place. Indeed, the fall in visitor numbers was greatest among professionals from the farthest Spanish regions, such as the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Catalonia and Galicia. The decrease in visitor numbers was also attributed to the progressive fall in the number of multi-brand footwear outlets in Spain.

The fair was not necessarily disappointing for all the exhibitors. Pascual Ros, marketing manager at Mustang, said his company exceeded the sales figure it achieved at the March 2007 fair. Officials at the company were completely satisfied also because they had invited customers to order reassortments for the Spring/Summer season. Callaghan reported big orders from Korea, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and Greece. Managers of Martinelli and Pons Quintana were quoted as mentioning a good level of sales.

Foreign visitors represent 17.8 percent of the total attendance, down from 18.9 percent one year ago. The number of visitors from Portugal dropped to 1,176, compared with 1,337 last September, in spite of the growing trade between the two countries. On the other hand, a group of 40 trade professionals was brought in from Russia by the organizers of the fair, IFEMA, and by the Chamber of Commerce of Madrid.

The fair featured shoe and leathergoods collections from 540 exhibiting companies, of which 423 were Spanish and 117 were foreign.