This topic was one of the issues discussed by industry professionals and experts during the Global Footwear Executive Summit (GFES), co-organised by APLF and the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), which took place one day before the APLF and Fashion Access trade show in Hong Kong.
GFES brought together senior-level executives from retail, footwear and certification companies for a day of thought-provoking dialogue and networking. The summit allowed participants to gain knowledge, share experiences and discover innovative solutions.
Matt Priest, FDRA President and CEO, kicked-off the event on a positive note by saying, “The footwear industry continues to grow alongside shoppers, who have become very accustomed to making purchases online; companies need to become more flexible.” The industry is facing a rapidly growing demand worldwide, and at the same time many companies are stepping up their work toward promoting more environmentally and socially responsible practices.
“This is no surprise. As retail and brick-and-mortar sales remained somewhat flat, footwear is taking big strides into a future where the majority of shoe purchases are being made online,” warned Priest. To achieve lasting impact at scale, the industry needs to undergo systemic change through leadership, innovation and collaboration. A number of promising, disruptive innovations are emerging to move the industry, but the fashion companies must join forces with suppliers, investors, regulators and consumers to create an ecosystem that supports transformational innovation and disruptive business models.
Last but not least, look forward to the next Global Footwear Executive Summit in 2020 and review the agility plan of action.