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We Asked Retailers What They Needed to Know. This Is It.

Footwear & Accessories Business Conference

Learn More, Earn More! Increase your knowledge of new fashion trends, buying strategies, and best business practices from industry experts who know what it takes to succeed. These seminars are developed specifically to give you the critical information, ideas and inspiration that will impact how much you sell—and how much you profit—next season.

If you have not yet registered for the August 2009 WSA show, click here.

If you have already registered for the August 2009 WSA show, click here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Human Resources: Your Most Valuable [Marketing] Asset
The National Shoe Retailers Association (NSRA)
Tuscany Suites & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Your people make or break your business reputation. Help them become the best. At this conference, you’ll delve into:

  • Employee Training: Who, What, Where and When?
  • Interviewing & Recruiting: The How Tos
  • Staff Policies & Procedures: What's Required, What's Optional
  • Employee Salaries & Incentives: Sampling and Selecting for "Workability"
  • The Legal Aspects of Hiring & Firing
  • Coaching for Performance
  • Performance Reviews: Handling the Good and the Bad, Avoiding the Ugly
  • Marketing by Being: You ARE Your Company
For details or to register, go to

Friday, July 31, 2009


Step-by-Step Orientation for Buyers New to The WSA Show
WSA Retail Relations Team
Time: 8:30–9:30 a.m.

Learn the ins and outs of navigating The WSA Show, including The Collections at WSA located at The Venetian. Discover the tools available to help you find what you're looking for while making the show a fun and profitable business experience. If you have never been to a WSA show before—or could use some practical guidance—this short session will save you time and energy.

How to Run a Successful Store, Part 1
Mercedes Gonzalez, Global Purchasing Companies
8:30–9:30 a.m.

This session is for new retailers and those looking for inspiration. One of the most popular sessions at WSA, this is Retail 101. Part 1 includes selecting the best location; deciding what, where and how much to buy; using retail math; and applying tried-and-true advertising and promotions ideas. Whether you're opening your first store or expanding your business, this session covers what you need to know. Get a good start, or a good refresher, from this retail industry expert.

Mercedes R. Gonzalez is the director of the Global Purchasing Companies, a full-service buying office that plans and implements retail strategies with specialties in new store planning and streamlining established businesses. Gonzalez has been a buyer in the garment industry since 1988.

How to Run a Successful Store, Part 2
Mercedes Gonzalez, Global Purchasing Companies
9:45–10:45 a.m.

Part 2 of our Retail 101 series, presented by an industry expert, is essential to all business owners with new or established stores. Whether you're just opening your first store or expanding your business, some things are key: growth strategies; merchandising; hiring and training your sales team; and loss prevention.

Pantone Color Trends for Spring/Summer '10 and Beyond
Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone Inc.
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

This premier color trend company—and a premier color expert—shares the entire range of color palettes, shades and themes for spring/summer '10 and fall/winter '10/'11. Find out which color palettes you should be considering for the next seasons. Don't miss this opportunity to stay on top of the color trends for fashion, which directly affect what your customers will be looking for in footwear.

Leatrice Eiseman is a worldwide recognized color specialist. She heads the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training and is also executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. She has helped large and small companies choose the best colors for product development, logos and identification, brand imaging, Web sites, packaging, point-of-purchase displays, interior/exterior design and more.

Materials at WSA Workshop
Selecting the Right Supplier: Certification and Regulations

Karla S. Magruder, Fabrikology International
Time: 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Trying to understand the mindfield of regulations and certifications in the market is a daunting task. Join Karla Magruder to understand where regulation is headed, why you need to look at certifying your products and what certifications or support is out there to help you meet today's market requirements.

(Ideal audience: Advanced/Mid-Level Product Developers & Sourcing)

Karla S. Magruder is president of Fabrikology International, a textile consulting firm specializing in the education and marketing of innovative technologies and sustainable fibers. She has been in the textile industry for more than 25 years, with global experience ranging from fibers through finished products, working with companies such as Asics Tiger Corp., Burlington Industries and Cargill Dow. Magruder writes a column in the quarterly Fast Forward Newsletter and has been a contributing editor for Textile Intelligence since its launch.

Spring/Summer '10: The Los Angeles Perspective
Fran Sude, Design Options
Time: 1:00–2:00 p.m.

Los Angeles–based color forecasting consultant Fran Sude presents the inter-industry fusion of color and lifestyle trends for the junior, missy, young men's and kids' markets. Find out the west coast influence of apparel color, print and silhouettes on footwear and accessories. If you're selling to these market segments, you'll want to see what's trending—in the west and worldwide.

Fran Sude is the president and creative director of Design Options Inc., the only color and lifestyle forecasting company based in Los Angeles. Design Options is dedicated to bringing Southern California's unique aesthetic to the world.

Materials at WSA Workshop
Green 2.0: Concept of Doing Business Right Rather than Doing Something Green as a Trend

Karla S. Magruder, Fabrikology International
Time: 2:00–3:00 p.m.

We all learned the basics: recycle, reduce and reuse. Now where do we go? The market continues to move forward on the path toward more environmentally friendly products and processes. We will look at the "new" normal. Join Karla Magruder to learn how the market has progressed and how to maintain "green" products/materials in today’s economy.

(Ideal audience: All designers, product developers, sourcing)

Fashion Trends for Spring/Summer '10
Ellen Campuzano, FashionFACTSFolio
Time: 2:30–3:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand, industry expert Ellen Campuzano will show you what shoes and apparel will look like a year from now. This comprehensive overview will point you in the direction of what your customers will be buying for the spring/summer '10 season. See this trend forecast looking at fashion from head to toe before you buy.

Ellen Campuzano is the editor and publisher of fashionFACTSfolio, an e-mail bulletin newsletter for the footwear and accessories industry. FashionFACTS reports on the designer collections, footwear and accessory trade fairs, street trends, what's new, what's hot, and what to zoom in on. Campuzano is also the founder and president of the Committee for Colour & Trends, the only color forecasting, trend tracking and consulting service in the United States for the footwear and accessories industry.

Friday, August 1, 2009


CPSIA: Positioning Your Brand to Stay Ahead of the New Product Safety Law
Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)
Time: 8:00–9:30 a.m.

Did you know that August 14, 2009, ushers in a whole new set of rules and requirements on product safety for your products? Did you know that these new requirements will be retroactive, meaning that they will apply to everything you and your customers have in inventory on August 14?

Join us for an in-depth discussion on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Organized in conjunction with the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), come learn what you can expect and how you can prepare from a leading expert, a well-known lab, a leading retailer and a prominent brand who, like you, are dealing with the impact of the CPSIA every day.

The Ins and Outs of Visual Merchandising: What's Hot, What's Not
Sharon Leicham,
Time: 9:00–10:00 a.m.

While many merchandising strategies are basic, there are always new ways to take those basics, enhance them and create innovative, eye-catching displays. You can find examples everywhere if you are "tuned in" to look for them. This seminar will take you on a tour of the hottest trends in visual merchandising and show you how to adapt them to your store. It's a competitive environment out there. Now is the time to get rid of old habits, add excitement to your store and profit to the bottom line. We'll show you how.

Sharon Leicham is the author of Merchandising Your Way to Success and How to Sell to Women. She is the creator and principal of Leicham has served as trade marketing manager and global marketing manager for Specialized Bicycle Components, director of merchandising and national sales manager for Royal Robbins, director of apparel merchandising for Sierra Designs, and contributing and visuals editor for Outdoor Retailer magazine. She currently contributes a merchandising column for Specialty News (SNEWS) and Florist's Review and writes for GearTrends and GearTrends Fitness magazines.

Materials at WSA Workshop
Speed to Market, Part 2: How to Manage Your Supply Chain to Get Product to Market Faster

Mercedes Gonzalez, Global Purchasing Companies
Time: 10:00–11:00 a.m.

Speed to Market covers the importance of efficiently managing the supply chain to move your product seamlessly along to market. Topics include the benefits of vertically integrated manufacturing and in-house management of design, production, logistics and distribution.

Mercedes R. Gonzalez is the director of the Global Purchasing Companies, a full service buying office that plans and implements retail strategies with specialties in new store planning and streamlining established businesses. Gonzalez has been a buyer in the garment industry since 1988.

Getting Started Selling On the Internet
Chris Finken, OrangeSoda Inc.
Time: 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Is selling online a good idea for your business? If you've been thinking about taking your store online or are looking to take it to the next step, this session is for you. This 90-minute session will give you some tips on how to make the decision to go online or not. And it will highlight some simple steps you can start taking tomorrow to prepare your business for an online presence. Find out what you need to do to get started, compete and find your niche online.

Chris Finken is co-founder and executive vice president of research and development of OrangeSoda Inc. He has founded and successfully operated numerous online businesses that have provided him with extensive hands-on experience in pay-per-click marketing, search engine optimization and monetizing traffic, and has inspired him to create powerful optimization systems and methodologies.

Your Inventory Heart
Paul Erickson, RMSA
Time: 1:00–2:00 p.m.

Inventory is the "heart" of your business. During this economic turndown, how healthy is your heart? While we all think we are familiar with the fundamentals of inventory management, do we see all the connections between SKUs and financial analysis? Starting with the basics, Paul Erickson shares alternative concepts, techniques and formulas to improve cash flow, gross margin and sales. You'll learn specific strategies that you can begin implementing in your store immediately.

Paul Erickson presently serves as senior vice president, client services, of RMSA. Currently based in Minneapolis, he has served retail clients throughout the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. His passion for client service and for preparing independent retailers to excel in the area of inventory productivity and control has been central to both his personal success and that of the RMSA client base.

Widely recognized for his talents as a retail educator, Mr. Erickson has conducted seminars and workshops for numerous organizations and has been featured in Fortune magazine and on the CBS Evening News.

Materials at WSA Workshop
Fashion 101 for New Designers: How to Crash into the Business

Mercedes Gonzalez, Global Purchasing Companies
Time: 2:00–3:00 p.m.

Fashion 101 is geared toward helping new designers learn the basics of the fashion industry and avoid the problems that wipe out new lines before they can get started. Topics include the basics, operations, merchandising and design, selling the line and operating at trade shows. Time will be allotted at the end of the workshop for question from designers.

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