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Footwear Industry News

New cluster: Formation date set

Published: 6th Feb 2017

Pretoria (SA) – The Programme Approval Panel of the IDC’s Clothing & Textile Competitiveness Improvement Programme has approved the formation of a new national cluster to replace the former National Footwear & Leather Cluster, according to acting GM Ernest Heunis.

Likely to be known as the Footwear & Leather Industries Cluster (FLIC), the founding meeting and incorporation meeting will be held on February 15, at the Eddels offices in Pietermaritzburg, and will be attended by representatives of the 4 sub-national clusters who will be its founding members – the Exotic Leather Cluster, the Fast Track Cluster (aka the Foschini/Eddels cluster), the Durban Regional Cluster (the Mr Price cluster), and the Southern Cape Cluster.

“Once it has been founded, other stakeholders will be asked to join, as directors and members,” he said.

SATRA grows ‘restricted substances’ testing

Published: 6th Feb 2017
Author: Tony Dickson - S&V Editor

Kettering (UK) – SATRA’s Chemical and Analytical Technology group has almost doubled its turnover over the past 5 years, according to a release today. The main product sector SATRA serves are footwear, furniture, toys and personal protective equipment (PPE), and “a sizeable portion of the chemistry team’s business is testing in accordance with restricted substances legislation”, the release said.

“Within Europe, this is mainly driven by REACH (Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006) and the innocuousness requirements for PPE as part of the certification requirements through SATRA’s Notified Body activities.

“A specialist area that has seen major growth is with the assessment of industrial, examination and surgical gloves to determine their level of protection against hazardous chemicals. SATRA can test to the requirements in EN ISO 374-1:2016 so gloves can be certified against this newly published standard. This involves a new requirement to test the degradation of gloves in accordance with EN 374-4:2013 and permeation testing to EN 16523-1:2015. A new area of permeation testing for SATRA in 2016 was testing against chemotherapy drugs to ASTM D6978. Due to the very low detection limits required, SATRA is one of the few laboratories in Europe that can offer this testing service.”

All leather, footwear and leather goods exports to the EU are also subject to REACH requirements. – []


End of an era: New organiser for GDS

Published: 30th Jan 2017
Author: Cathrin Imkampe; Messe Düsseldorf

After several years of efforts to reformat GDS, Messe Düsseldorf will transfer running of the fair to the Igedo Company after the February edition. Igedo, also Düsseldorf-based, specialises in fashion clothing fairs.

Düsseldorf (Germany) – GDS will be held for the last time at the Messe Düsseldorf site from February 7-9. After this the Igedo Company will act, on behalf of Messe Düsseldorf, as the organiser of the shoe trade show. The new concept kicks off at Düsseldorf’s Areal Böhler venue in late August / early September 2017.
Over the past few years GDS and tag it! have been elaborately redesigned in close cooperation with the shoe sector. Although there was a great deal of support for the new concept from all sides, the expectations made of the new GDS have not been fulfilled.
Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, President & CEO at Messe Düsseldorf, attributes this to the changes in the shoe sector: “The sector has radically changed over the past few years and the pace has picked up again. The major event that GDS has been for over six decades, no longer seems to be the right format for the current challenges within the shoe sector. For this reason we are now taking consistent action with new responsibilities and a new venue.
“My thanks go to the great GDS and tag it! team headed up by Kirstin Deutelmoser, who have been committed to our shoe trade shows with great dedication and many innovative ideas.”
Kirstin Deutelmoser also sees switching the footwear trade show to the Igedo Company as an opportunity for the sector: “The market is acting ever more dynamically and requires a completely new solution. This can only be successful if it can be fundamentally rethought without having to take existing structures and traditions into consideration. For this the Igedo Company is the ideal partner. My thanks go to all our customers, many of whom have been at our trade shows for decades, and the numerous supporters who have been at our side with advice to bring our concept to life. I hope they will use this chance for new beginnings at the shoe trade show.”
After the February event Messe Düsseldorf will transfer its responsibility for its shoe trade show to the Igedo Company.
Igedo managing partner Philipp Kronen is looking forward to offering the shoe sector a new home at Areal Böhler: “I am confident the sector will look favourably on a new concept at such an emotionally charged location as Areal Böhler. Furthermore, we have an experienced project manager in the form of Ulrike Kähler who will rise to the challenge of a redesigned shoe fair. After all, she has already proven with Gallery Fashion how a good orders show works at Areal Böhler.” 
Details on the new shoe trade show will be released by the Igedo Company as part of GDS in February. – []

Western boots at risk in US-Mexico trade war of words - worry for SA ostrich tanners

Published: 30th Jan 2017
Author: Frik Kriek; SCOT Marketing Director
Western boots in the US - 1 of 3 key markets for SA ostrich leather - are likely to be affected by any changes to US-Mexican trade relations, including the threat to impose new import duties. A high percentage of Western boot manufacturing has moved from the US to Mexico, and further afield.
        "We're concerned about the implications of tariffs," says SCOT marketing director Frik Kriek. "It will for sure have implications for the ostrich industry.
        "We're considering different options on how to deal with this, but until such time as they make a final decision and we get the detail, we can't do anything.
        "Trump will not be able to change the NAFTA agreement on his own and it will have to be renegotiated. So we at least have time to prepare for changes."
        Thurling Investments MD Vidrik Thurling has mixed feelings: "I've been very outspoken in my criticism of US Western boot manufacturers being forced to send their production offshore in order to remain competitive. I know there's a lot of automation involved, but it's supposed to be a high-value, high-quality, hand-made American product. Instead, most of it has gone to Mexico, and some of it is now being made in China, which is very disappointing.
        "I'm not advocating a protectionist economy, but American boot manufacturers do need some tariff protection.
        "Also, some of the Mexican manufacturers have got so big they're taking big quantities of skins - up to 8 000 a month have gone to Mexico at peak times - and this pushes the price of ostrich leather below market value.
        "I have reservations about certain aspects of his approach, but I support what Trump is doing in this instance, and if it works, it will enhance the value of exotic leathers."

Competition Commission gives go-ahead for Decofurn et al deal

Published: 16th Jan 2017
Author: The Competition Commission

This statement was released by the Competition Commission, dated January 15. We hope to carry further detail in the next issue of S&V Footwear & Leather Goods

1.9 Proposed merger between National Retail Holdings (Pty) Ltd v Decofurn (Pty) Ltd, CB Stores (Pty) Ltd, The Hub (Pty) Ltd and HTC Stores (Pty) Ltd and the Truzen Trust
          The Commission has approved, without conditions, the intermediate merger whereby National Retail intends to acquire Decofurn, CB Stores, the Hub, HTC Stores as well as shares in the Truzen Trust.
        National Retail is a newly incorporated firm that does not have any operations. The Laaks Trust is an investment holding entity that holds interests in National Retail and in listed companies.
        The target firms, with the exception of the Truzen Trust, are involved in the textile industry specifically in the procurement (mostly from imports) and sale of women’s, men’s and children’s clothing (including school uniforms) and footwear as well as household apparel. The Truzen Trust owns the property used as a distribution center and head office by the other Target Firms.
        The proposed transaction is unlikely to substantially prevent or lessen competition in any market and does not raise any public interest concerns.

©2017 S&V Publications