The murmurings among the Spanish footwear industry about the effectiveness of Modacalzado, have been refuted by the Spanish National Footwear Federation (FICE), which owns the show. At the latest show in September, the number of exhibitors at the fair was down by 27 percent and the number of visitors went down by 8 percent. The number of Spanish exhibitors fell by 11 percent. Since then, some leaders in the industry have been quoted questioning the show’s profitability and its chances of continuing.

However, Rafael Calvo, FICE’s president, pointed out that many companies have had to close or are having financial problems, and that wasn’t the fault of Modacalzado. He said that the show still has an important role in the industry and that it has the full support of FICE as well as IFEMA, FICE’s partner that runs the event. IFEMA, Calvo noted, even has agreed to freeze its fees for 2009 and is working with the group to improve the fair.

The next Modacalzado, scheduled March 17-19, will be restructured, though plans have not yet been finalized. The dates are earlier than usual, immediately following the GDS in Germany, with the organizers hoping that visitors will go straight from Düsseldorf to Madrid.