The organizers of GDS, the German show for shoes and accessories, are calling the new matchmaking system they launched in a November a success. The new service, Shoes-Contact, is a business networking platform geared especially toward the footwear industry. Its internal team of experts looks at all searches and works with the parties until a successful match has been made.

When Shoes-Contactwas launched, it already had more than 8,000 contacts in its database from the footwear, handbags and lifestyle industries. These included executives, distributors and commercial agencies. About 100 new entries are added every day to the database.

Companies such as Item m6, Künzli Shoes, GnL Footwear, Rockport, 361°, Orthosole, Chiruca, Dachstein, Heelys and SmartView360 are taking advantage of the publicly accessible internet portal, www.shoes-contacts.com, to help find partners in specific regions or countries. More than 500 sales agencies registered on the portal in the first few days to declare their interest in taking on new brands, and new ones are signing up every day.

GDS is providing the trade expertise for the initiative, working with m2b, which developed the platform. As previous reported, this German company has worked on similar projects for other industries. GDS is its exclusive partner for Shoes-Contacts. The trade show is said to provide an ideal venue for potential partners in the matchmaking service to meet up.

Though currently Shoes-Contact is available only in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands, m2b and GDS plan to expand to all of Europe in the near future.