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Atlanta Shoe Market Cancels August Show As COVID-19 Cases Spiral

A day after Georgia recorded its highest per-day case count during the coronavirus pandemic, the Atlanta Shoe Market’s rescheduled August show has officially been canceled, with the next attempt slated for 2021.

The Atlanta Shoe Market’s biannual event is held shortly after the Fashion Footwear Association of New York’s (FFANY) show in New York. With FFANY’s June event canceled until August, the Atlanta Shoe Market trade show had plans to follow suit from Aug. 22-24 in Georgia’s largest metropolis.

The Atlanta Shoe Market board of directors put together a new set of health and safety protocols in anticipation of this event, including mandatory temperature checks and face masks, physical barriers, reconfigured queues and one-way aisles.

Now, the organization has made the hard choice to forego the show entirely.

“A short time ago we felt optimistic that August was far enough away to confidently proceed with our plans, as it stands today (July 13), we cannot guarantee that safety as this virus is spreading throughout our country once again,” Atlanta Shoe Market executive director Laura Conwell-O’Brien said in a statement emailed to Sourcing Journal.

As of July 12, Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center reported 3,060 new cases in Georgia—a dubious record for the state.

For comparison, New York, once the outbreak’s epicenter, reported 651 cases on the same day.

“Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during this unprecedented situation,” Conwell-O’Brien said. “We are very disappointed that we are unable to hold this event for our companies and retailers.”

Atlanta Shoe Market’s events showcase more than 1,800 lines each season, according to the organization, representing its more than 1,200 members.

Conwell-O’Brien said the trade show organizer looks forward to convening its next planned event on Feb. 20-22, 2021.

Trade show cancellations have become commonplace as COVID-19 cases rise again across the U.S. Some shows, like the NRF’s Big Show in New York and Magic Las Vegas, have gone digital while others have been canceled entirely.