startrite-gold-logoOrganiser Datateam Business Media is delighted to announce another high profile new sponsor for the Footwear Industry Awards 2015….

Children’s shoe manufacturer Start-rite will be sponsoring the Children’s Retailer of the Year category at the Footwear Industry Awards 2017. “Start-rite is delighted to support the Footwear Industry Awards,” said Ian Watson, CEO of Start-rite Shoes. “It’s the perfect occasion to mark and recognise excellence at every level within our industry.”

With 224 years of history, Start-rite is an expert in developing quality children’s footwear. Footwear Today editor Bryony Andrews spoke to CEO Ian Watson about their current plans and the services they offer retailers. “A three-year strategic plan has been implemented to update the brand, bringing it into a new era, yet still maintaining its core. It’s about evolution rather than revolution,” said Ian. “Durable shoes are of critical importance to parents and our retailers, and therefore producing quality shoes will remain the key focus of the business. The children’s footwear market is evolving at pace, and at Start-rite we are focused on ensuring the brand and products are as relevant in 2016 and beyond as they were 30 or 40 years ago. Parents demand products they know will last, while retailers demand products that will sell.”

Ian continued: “We have strengthened our product design team so we can continue to design and develop shoes children want to wear and parents want to buy.  We have narrowed the product range, making fewer but stronger styles.

We asked Start-rite why brands and retailers should support the industry by entering and attending the awards. They replied: “The footwear industry awards are known throughout the industry for their focus on independent retailers, as well as global footwear brands. Giving brands like Start-rite and retailers the chance to stand out amongst the competition raises the profiles of their business and stimulates market interest. It’s the only awards for the industry in which brands and retailers are both nominated and voted for by their peers in the trade, meaning the accolade achieved by the winners is a great endorsement of achievement across the footwear industry. This has been even more endorsed this year by the introduction of the new ‘two-tier’ judging process, which includes industry experts too. It’s a great awards event to recognise both hard work and the achievements from businesses and individuals.”

Voting is currently open for the Footwear Industry Awards, so make sure you visit to cast your vote for the top retailers and brands of the past 12 months!

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