Two relatively big players in the German shoe market, Gabor and the Astormüller Group, which markets the Bugatti and Daniel Hechter lines of footwear, have announced that they will not participate in the Feb. 7-9, 2017, edition of the GDS shoe show in Düsseldorf. Gabor, which has been investing in one of the biggest stands at the fair, complained about a steady decline in the number of visitors and it relevance as an international exhibition. It will also take out its Camel Active footwear line from the fair.

Messe Düsseldorf pointed out that many other big players have confirmed their participation – among them Ara Shoes, Josef Seibel, Lloyd Shoes, Mephisto, Rieker, Schuhunion, van Lier, the Wortmann Group, Birkenstock, Skechers, Donna Carolina and Floris van Bommel.

Also the Shoe Lorenz Group and Peter Kaiser will be there along with Brunate, Candice Cooper, Dr. Martens, Hub, K&S, Kangaroos, Panama Jack, Palladium, Pikolinos, Vagabond and many others. The GDS will remain an important show for many children's shoe brands like Bundgaard, Kavat, Naturino, Richter or Ricosta. Even NeroGiardini has indicated its participation in the GDS, although it is pulling out of theMicam.

It is too early to speculate about the industry's response to the new summer dates of the GDS, which will be moved next year from the end of July to the beginning of September. Some German managers have indicated that Expo Riva Schuh and theMicam are gaining ground as international meeting points for the trade, while small and inexpensive regional shows like Essenz are generating more business with local customers.

Further new competition on German soil will come next year from the new European Shoeshow that will be held in Cologne in March and September. It is organized by Frank Hartmann, a former manager of the GDS. Several exhibitors at the first edition, scheduled for March 12-13, will also show at other fairs. A preliminary announced lists companies and brands such as Brunate, Collonil, Kangaroos, Lugina, Sendra Boots, Skechers and Thierry Rabotin.

Meanwhile, some of the fashion fairs that participate in the Berlin Fashion Week are continuing to build up or rearrange their offer in the footwear sector. The new owners of the five-year-old Show & Order fair in Berlin plan to add collections of women's shoes to its presentations.

After its recent acquisition of the action sports-oriented Bright show in Berlin, the Premium Group has announced its takeover of Show & Order. It already owned the Seek fair. Focusing on a medium-priced segment of the fashion market, between Premium and Panorama, the show will continue to be led by Verena Malta and to take place at Berlin's Kraftwerk, halfway between Premium and the Seek-Bright combination.

With this new acquisition, the Premium Group will host a total of about 1,800 brands at four simultaneous fashion fairs, 80 percent of which are international, on more than 50,000 square meters of exhibition space.

For its part, the Panorama fashion trade show will restructure its shoes and accessories segment for its coming winter edition, running on Jan. 17-19 in Berlin. The number of exhibitors will not increase, but the organizers of the show plan a new design and allocation of the space.

The separation between shoes and accessories, which was introduced this summer, will be eliminated and both segments will be merged in Halls 5 and 6 of the show. Each hall measures about 3,000 sqm. and allows the display of about 60 collections of shoes or accessories. Brands of shoes or accessories that are inspired by the sports and outdoor segment will be on display in Hall 5, while urban and women's brands will be hosted in Hall 6.

The shoe exhibitors at Panorama will include names such as Ara, Belmondo, Bronx, Bullboxer, Dockers, Fritzi aus Preussen, Giesswein, Gordon Bros., H.I.S. Shoes, Haflinger, L'Credi, Legend, Lloyd, Manas, Marc Shoes, Melvin & Hamilton, Norton, Peter Kaiser, the Josef Seibel group, Suri Frey, Think!, Tom Tailor Bags, Vagabond, Vanzetti and Wunschstück. New exhibitors will be brands like Sixtyseven, Pavement, DKode, Mr. Boho, Gladz, Mundart, Emily & Noah, Waipuna and Miss Terre.