German shoe retailers had to endure a decline of almost 20% in their sales last February, but then, the same month of 2008 had shown an increase of 14% +++ Berkemann has opened its first German store through a local retail partner in Frankfurt and it is planning to open six more stores in the country and ten elsewhere +++ Repetto has opened its third French store in Marseille +++ A shop-in-shop of Casadei has opened in the Printemps department store of Paris +++ David Spencer, who started at Schuh in 1997 as men’s buyer, and moved up to men’s buying controller in 2006, is promoted as product director of this British retail chain +++ Stephen Tierney, a 19-year veteran of Pacific Brands and its chief financial officer, is stepping down, to be replaced by David Bortolussi, former chief strategy officer of Foster’s Group, who will also take on the title of chief operating officer +++ Crocs laid off 38 employees at its headquarters in Connecticut last week +++ Renato de Angelis is NeroGiardini’s new agent for the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland +++ Converse launches an expanded line of skate shoes under the Cons brand name, while its French licensee, Royer, come out with a limited edition style in crocodile skin, selling in selected shops for €200 +++ Aldo Brué has launched a line of super-light men’s sneakers +++ Gola, the U.K. sports brand, has a new collection with the pixel art collective eBoy coming out this autumn, with eBoy’s 3D illustrations appearing on products that range from £25 to £34 (€38.1-$50.6) for footwear and £11-£21 (€23.6-$31.2) for bags +++ Jimmy Choo’s founder and creative director, Tamara Mellon, has become chairman of Fashion Fringe Accessories, a British initiatives for talent scouting in the area of fashion design +++ The Vietnamese government has officially raised the country’s minimum monthly wage by about 20%; effective May 1, it will rise to 650,000 dong (€28.80-$37.40) from 540,000 dong +++ Pony is suing Nike for trademark infringement in U.S. District Court in San Diego over the Swoosh’s use of a “V” in an online marketing campaign with the Argentinean soccer player Sergio Aguero and the tennis player Rafael Nadal +++ The reality television star Nicole Richie has added footwear to her House of Harlow 1960 label, and about 20 models designed by her are expected to launch next year +++ The American Apparel & Footwear Association will honor Wolverine World Wide with its Excellence in Lifestyle Branding award next month +++ Salvatore Ferragamo has been elected as “best of the best” in the area of men’s shoes by the Luxury Institute of New York +++ Salvatore Ferragamo has added a website in Spanish to those it runs in Italian, English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean +++ Siegfried Kleinert, who played a key role at Garant as the manager responsible for purchasing and sales from 1973 through 1991, has passed away at the age of 80.