Big names in the UK Footwear industry are moving to a new venue for their twice-yearly trade exhibition. The Ricoh Arena, Coventry will host the first edition of SOLE FASHION with a new two-day format on Sunday 16th and Monday 17th February 2020.

Leading, global brands such as Rieker, Remonte, Josef Seibel, Rohde, Romika, Tizian, Ara, Hush Puppies, HB Shoes, Lurchi by Salamander plus represented brands including Gardiners, Rocket Dog and Crocs, are all backing the move.

Chris Gorrod, UK Managing Director for Brevitt Rieker Ltd commented: “Businesses are always looking for alternative routes to market in these challenging trading conditions. However, nothing can replace an industry gathering each season where we can meet our customers and present our latest products to new and existing retailers. I am genuinely excited to be supporting SOLE FASHION with the Rieker and Remonte brands. I feel it addresses the current needs of the industry from both a supplier and retailer perspective, the timing of this collaboration is perfect. A prestigious venue like the Ricoh Arena will provide an impressive new backdrop for our industry event”.

Organiser of the new SOLE FASHION exhibition Penny Robinson stated: “I am delighted to be working with the UK’s footwear industry to deliver an exciting new trade event focusing on branded footwear. There is still a strong desire for the industry to showcase their collections each season, however participating brands demand to see a realistic return on investment. The cost-effective and clear pricing of stands makes SOLE FASHION more accessible, attracting new and lapsed UK trade show exhibitors resulting in an unmissable industry event. It will be strongly focused on delivering the key retailers from the UK and Irish market and creating a fresh and exciting platform for people to do business. The reaction so far from some very notable footwear industry figures has been extremely positive.”

Josef Seibel UK Ltd’s Managing Director Martin Ingram stated that “Sole fashion offers a great opportunity to refresh the industry’s trade event and to create some excitement within the sector. The proposition of a new venue, a focused two-day format and most importantly, a viable return on investment, makes the event very interesting for us.

We are delighted to be returning to the UK trade show format with Josef Seibel showing alongside Romika and Tizian. We look forward to meeting with our many partners and retailers at Sole Fashion”.

The award-winning Ricoh Arena has been chosen to host the new event. Home of the Wasps Rugby team and one of the first UK event venues to receive 5G connectivity, the Ricoh Arena is situated in the heart of England, within two hours’ drive of 75 per cent of the population, is 20 minutes’ drive from Birmingham International and 55 minutes by train from London Euston.

The Ericsson Hall at Ricoh Arena allows footwear brands to show all together in one space, whilst other areas within the complex give scope for expansion to accommodate apparel and accessories collections.

Stuart Cain, Managing Director of the Ricoh Arena commented:

“We are thrilled that the Ricoh Arena has been chosen as the home of SOLE FASHION the UK Footwear Industry’s new trade exhibition. The investment in the Arena’s facilities and infrastructure has given rise to a substantial increase in event business in the last 12 months with impressive growth forecast for 2020. We are renowned for working closely with organisers to establish new events offering a high-quality product and excellent customer service. This strategy has been rewarded by the level of repeat business and long-term relationships we now enjoy with events across a diverse number of sectors.”

This is a new chapter for the UK’s footwear industry. SOLE FASHION is the industry event that will deliver fresh ideas and exciting new products to inspire retailers and their customers each season.