Winter trends, new collections and tomorrow’s technologies: From 10 to 12 February 800 brands presented themselves at GDS and 100 exhibitors at tag it! – The Private Label Show held concurrently. Going down particularly well this time was the concept of the three themed GDS Worlds.
The GDS Worlds provide visitors with swift orientation and exhibitors with the best environment possible for presentation. In their overall assessment the polled visitors gave even higher scores for this segmentation than in the last two seasons – three out of four visitors even gave the trade show the top score for its hall segmentation. Accordingly, HIGHSTREET continues to attract visitors’ strongest interest, while STUDIO and POP UP share the second place.
Visitor Survey: Retailers open to new Suppliers
Regardless of the hall they are touring, retailers express great interest in new exhibitors: half the visitors polled said they had found a new supplier at this GDS. Moreover, 80% of the visitors surveyed admitted that they had changed at least some of their suppliers over the past three years. Almost one in two retailers is even considering increasing the number of listed suppliers. The Düsseldorf trade show is the perfect platform to gain an overview of potential partners quickly.
And its timing also seems a good choice: over 64% of the visitors polled said that GDS fitted their seasonal planning very well with three out of four respondents attending GDS primarily for information purposes. Nevertheless, two thirds of the visitors placed orders at the show.
44% of trade show visitors did not come from Germany and also came with some expectations towards manufacturers that differed from those of their German colleagues, as the GDS Survey revealed. When selecting suppliers German retailers attach more importance to reliable deliveries and good retail sales prospects, whereas foreign visitors are more interested in managed zone and shop-in-shop systems than their German colleagues. Of equal importance to all retailers are the quality/fit and value for money the collections offer.
GDS was attended by 15.200 visitors in total. It was striking to see that fewer apparel retailers came to the show than in summer. This was probably due to the fact that these dates do not directly follow on from the Düsseldorf order cycle for fashion. Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, would have liked to see a higher retail attendance: “The shoe sector is currently going through a crisis. We are disappointed, nonetheless, that not more visitors found their way to Düsseldorf, all the more as those who came rated our concept higher than in the previous two seasons.”
Kirstin Deutelmoser, Director of GDS and tag it!, also sees the biggest challenge in attracting more visitors again: “The vast majority of GDS visitors were very satisfied. Together with the industry we have to keep on working towards tapping into new potential for the trade show.”
GDS extends Trend Service
According to the survey the high satisfaction scores given for the GDS services can also be attributed to the good exploration of the fashion trends. Visitors are most interested in the GDS catwalk shows such as the STUDIO Show that kicked off the trade show. This time, TV presenter and author Ruth Moschner attended the opening show as a front-row VIP. Add to this the GDS Trend Spots that showcase the key trend themes in a bigger context serving as a source of inspiration for eye-catching show window dressings. In addition to the numerous trend lectures, the GDS Trend Codes in Hall 4 offered retailers a new service: they learnt which shoes ideally combine with the new clothing trends so that they can provide their shoppers with competent advice for putting their outfits together.
Event: Sector celebrates “Winter Breeze”
The first evening saw the GDS Opening Party being held – this time organised deliberately for both manufacturers and retailers, allowing the shoe sector to celebrate the “Winter Breeze” together. “Quartier Bohème” in Düsseldorf’s Old Town created an atmospheric wintertime setting for guests to enjoy the buffet and good conversations but also turned on the heat for them with a live band.
Highlight Route showcases Tomorrow’s Technologies
On top of the many new collections this GDS also offered plenty of input for technology-prone visitors. Be it virtual or augmented reality, interactive solutions with touch screens or barcode scanners – the digitisation theme was elucidated in all its facets. Equally exciting was the tour of the by now well-established Highlight Route across Halls 3, 4 and 5 – this time under the motto “Digital Craft #2”. Of particular interest for retailers and also proving an attraction for many TV stations at GDS were suppliers whose technical products link the benefits of e-Commerce with those of physical Points of Sale.
“GDS 365” – digital B2B Marketplace now open
Speaking of digital: in parallel with the trade show “GDS 365” – the Digital Marketplace kicked off. In cooperation with the Berlin-based B2B e-Commerce platform for shoes and accessories “We Want Shoes”, a innovative online B2B marketplace was created for the brands exhibiting at GDS. With this move GDS responds to the digitisation trend in the industry and gives its exhibitors new business opportunities as well as support for their distribution and marketing processes that go far beyond the trade show proper – 365 days a year.
110 Bloggers visit the Fashion Blogger Café
In Hall 10 fashion bloggers met for joint networking, for listening to informative presentations revolving around the blogging business and taking part in the many and varied activities offered by the stands at the FashionBloggerCafé shoedition. The latter was organised for the fourth consecutive time in cooperation with styleranking and lured 110 fashion bloggers to GDS on “Bloggers' Friday”, the third day of the trade show. Another highlight for bloggers was the Blogger Runway Show, where the latest trends were staged eye-catchingly. Joining the fray: Sisters Julia (22) and Sylvia Haghjoo (26) from Hamburg. They followed in the footsteps of testimonial bloggers Maja Wyh, Alice M. Huynh and Nina Schwichtenberg alias Fashiioncarpet.
The next editions of GDS and tag it! will take place from 26 to 28 July 2016. With these dates GDS responds to the requests voiced by retailers and will run from Tuesday to Thursday.
Düsseldorf, 12. February 2016