The British Footwear Association (BFA) and the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) have announced the establishment of a strategic partnership designed to enhance the cooperation of footwear companies in the U.S. and in the U.K. As part of the partnership, the two associations will share marketplace data and regulatory and customs insights keeping global footwear companies better informed. They are also currently working on ways they can combine efforts to enhance social compliance at footwear factories around the globe.
“Our new alliance with FDRA will greatly help British footwear companies better understand the U.S. market, as well as the cumbersome import rules and product safety regulations impacting U.K. companies,” said Chairman of the BFA and Commercial Chief Executive and Joint Chairman of the Sutton Group Michael Kelly. We will likewise provide similar information to American footwear companies seeking to grow their market share in the U.K. As the leading footwear trade associations in our respective countries this is a natural fit and we are very excited.”
“In an effort to enhance the knowledge and services our two associations provide the industry, FDRA and the BFA have formed this very important partnership,” said FDRA Chairman and R.G. Barry Brands President and CEO Greg Tunney. “This is a great step towards having a more united effort to improve social compliance standards in addition to a range of other issues we can work on together.”
“In terms of buying power, the American footwear market is the largest in the world and our members want to sell more to the U.S. British consumers also want more product choices and are already buying American brands. We are eager to continue to develop this relationship and deliver some great results for companies on both sides of the Atlantic.US and UK footwear companies face the same challenges in terms of market access, sourcing and increasing product regulations. There are enormous benefits from developing a closer working relationship with FDRA, and this will broaden the international co-operation we already have with European footwear associations through our membership of the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC).” said BFA Chief Executive John Saunders.
“FDRA makes every effort to collaborate with footwear associations across the globe,” said FDRA President Matt Priest. “The benefits of a strategic partnership with John and the BFA team are self-evident, footwear customs, product safety, and compliance rules are changing around the world and together we can better help our respective members. In addition, this is the first step to enhance our collaborative efforts in advocating for the fair treatment of footwear in markets across the globe, and we will also work with the BFA on FDRA’s industry Code of Conduct and Responsible Footwear Manufacturing Program.”
About the British Footwear Association
Established in 1898 the British Footwear Association has supported the British footwear industry promoting its members for more than 100 years, providing an unrivalled go-to resource for everything you could ever need to know about the business. BFA members come from all sectors of an industry with truly global reach. From leading international brands, and world class manufacturers to new innovative designers. Our companies employ over 9,000 people with exports currently valued at over £500 million per year, increasing rapidly.
About the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America
Founded in 1944 by the footwear industry, the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) is the largest footwear trade association in the US. It represents and serves the entire width footwear industry from small family owned footwear businesses, U.S. footwear factories, and global footwear companies. It also represents and serves the full supply chain of the footwear industry from research, design and development, to manufacturing and distribution, to retailers selling to consumers all over the globe.