Swedish shoe retailers’ sales decreased by 5.8% in May but grew by 8.6% in June, leading up to a 9.4% increase for the first half of the year.

Norway’s shoe retailers’ sales sank by 7.1% in May, but overall sales grew during the first half by 7.7% thanks to strong sales in March, which grew by 40.7% compared with the same month last year.

Belgian shoe retailers enjoyed sales increases of 3.7% in pairs and 4.5% in euros during the month of July, according to VDK.

A sales increase of almost 9% was booked by Austrian shoe retailers in the first half of 2007.

Spaniards spent 1.5% less on footwear in the first half of 2007, according to TNS Worldpanel, or a total of €2.3 billion.

Prada has nine stores in China after the opening of one in Beijing’s China Central Plaza and another one in Shenyang, capital of the province of Liaoning.

Jones Bootmaker will celebrate its 125th birthday with a limited edition called Reinvention, which will run up until Christmas.

Permira has secured a state of 82.1% in Hugo Boss following a tender offer related to its takeover of Valentino Fashion Group.

Afis International of Germany has filed for insolvency, and a candidate has reportedly shown interest in taking over its business.

Kangnai, a Chinese shoe manufacturer in Wenzhou, plans to join four other Chinese shoe companies in the Russian city of Ussriysk, not far from Vladivostok, investing US$260 million in a big factory there over the next five years.

Apache Footwear is said to be planning to raise employment at its new manufacturing facilities in India from 3,000 to 31,000 people within four years.

Bata Pakistan Limited, the largest maker of shoes in Pakistan, has reported profits of $1.38 million, five times higher than for the year-ago period.

Giuseppe Baiardo, who runs Iris, has replaced Franco Ballin as president of ACRIB, the association for shoe manufacturers site along the Brenta River near Venice.

Ronald Offir has been named president of e-commerce at Jones Apparel Group after holding the same position at Kompo e-Commerce Solutions.

Wolverine World Wide has appointed Jordan Wand as its new vice-president and general manager for the new Merrell Apparel brand.

Intermedium has taken on a license for a collection of shoes to be sold under the Smiley label that will be presented at the GDS and MICAM shows later this month.

Antebi Footwear Group of New York announced that it will launch a signature footwear line with Paris Hilton, the American socialite and heiress to the Hilton chain of hotels, in the USA in early 2008.

Scholl Footwear is introducing a line of wood sandals designed by Diego Dolcini and Bioprint, described as a lighter technical evolution of its Adapta model with an anatomical footbed in cork.

Sioux has adopted a new breathable membrane, called Vayu Verde and developed by IQTex of Germany, whose pores open up in dry weather conditions.

Orinoco of Ireland has become sole distributor for Ireland as well as the UK of Waldies, the American brand of clogs.

Triple H Agency of Düsseldorf is going to take care of German shoe retailers for Puma’s Tretorn brand.

Jke-3 is distributing Tsubo in Austria.

Wolverine World Wide is recalling some 9,500 pairs of Caterpillar Logger work boots, made in China and sold in U.S. stores between last September and July because they may have been incorrectly labeled as being resistant to electrical current.

Passion Sports, the UK-based European distributor of Rocket Dog, is pursuing retailers in the UK, France and Spain that have been selling allegedly counterfeit styles.

Bayer plans to withdraw from the New York Stock Exchange to reduce costs and the complexity of the related operations.

Zappos.com will be title sponsor of the Las Vegas Marathon for three years, starting with the next race on Dec. 5, and will also develop a website dedicated to running enthusiasts under Running.Zappos.com.

Iconix Brand Group has signed up Teri Hatcher, one of the stars in the Desperate Housewives TV serial, as the image for the Fall campaign of one of its fashion brand, Badgley Mischka, whose collection will feature a wide variety of products including footwear.

Claiming that Leonardo da Vinci created the high heel in 1507, Shoe Express, a British shoe retailer, is celebrating the shoe’s 500th anniversary by having a well-known fashion model, Jessica Proudfoot, pacing Oxford Street in London for ten minutes on a 30-centimeter heel.

BASF has published a 350-page book in English on the latest scientific research and the existing literature on leather manufacturing, called «From Collgen to Leather.» A French choreographer has adopted Dr. Martens shoes for a parade celebrating the World Rugby Cup being held in France in the town of St. Denis near Paris.