Vendors and buyers from more than 40 countries have come together for the show’s first digital edition. As the event kicked off on Sept. 15, more than 700 vendors and over 2,600 registrants had signed on to participate in FOOTWEAR SOURCING at MAGIC Online.
“We’ve been thrilled by the overall interest and support from our community,” said Andreu David, event director of SOURCING at MAGIC. “We are proud to fill the void and hunger for a viable solution to sourcing B2B during this pandemic. It has been a blessing for us to get back to business and be able to serve our customers and the supply chain.”
Among the supporters of FOOTWEAR SOURCING at MAGIC are three standout exhibitors.
One of the vendors joining the show is the New York Activewear & Footwear Sourcing’s (NYAFS) Futuresole Institute, which researches and develops footwear innovations and technology, including advances in construction and sustainability. The firm also works to make footwear supply chains run more efficiently.
After the supply chain disruptions and delays tied to the pandemic, nearshoring is gaining steam. Abicalçados, the Brazil Footwear Association, is appearing at SOURCING at MAGIC Online to showcase the nation’s footwear might. Brazil is the fourth-largest shoe producer in the world and the largest outside of Asia, making 944 million pairs of shoes in 2018. The organization represents more than 4,000 footwear companies, supporting competitive policies for footwear trade. Along with Abicalçados, 13 Brazilian footwear companies are exhibiting at the show.
The United States is the top international destination for Brazilian footwear. According to data from Abicalçados, the nation imported 11.9 million pairs of shoes from Brazil in 2019, up 10.5 percent year-over-year.
Along with nearshoring, companies are increasingly looking outside of China for sourcing, in part because of the ongoing trade war with the United States. One of the nations that could benefit from this move is Vietnam. SOURCING at MAGIC exhibitor LEFASO, the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association, works to support the socio-economic development in the country. LEFASO also brought 25 exhibitors from Vietnam to FOOTWEAR SOURCING at MAGIC Online.
As part of SOURCING at MAGIC Online, the footwear platform offers ample opportunities for networking and learning. For example, attendees gathered for an opening night digital happy hour. Throughout the length of the show, a smart matchmaking feature in the proprietary platform enables exhibitors and buyers to find the potential partners that are right for them.
Seminars specifically geared toward footwear professionals have included sessions on creating soles using 3D printing and “Footwear’s New World” in these unprecedented times. During live panels and talks, attendees can ask speakers questions and connect with them for further discussion.
“The SOURCING at MAGIC Online marketplace provides buyers a solution to source, network and continue their business goals during the tough time our industry has faced these past few months,” said David. “With restrictions on travel and limited large events still in place through the rest of the year, our platform allows buyers and exhibitors the opportunity to interact and conduct business for the rest of 2020 as well as view and collect industry insight through pre-recorded and live sessions.”
There is still time to attend FOOTWEAR SOURCING at MAGIC, happening now through Dec. 15. Buyers can click here to register for free.