The historic Ohio-based chain of stores confirms how the early dates on the trade show calendar and the variety of offerings make the Riva del Garda trade show the benchmark footwear event for the U.S. market as well.
Lucky Shoes is a historic chain of stores, established in 1919 in Akron, and now has 14 family footwear outlets located in the state of Ohio, USA. Specifically, sports shoes and comfortable shoes with a fashionable twist.
We met, at Expo Riva Schuh in January 2023, John Luck, a descendant of the founder, who gave us an interesting freeze frame of the current U.S. market and, in particular, the state of Ohio.
What is the situation in your target market?
Our clientele still likes to look good, but at the same time they no longer want to give up feeling good and maximum comfort. So, as it used to be done in the old days, we still start with an analysis of the foot to recommend the most appropriate footwear and at the same time the aesthetics able to satisfy the customer and his need to present himself with a well-groomed look.
What type of product are you looking for for your patrons?
As I said, I am looking for footwear that makes the foot feel good but at the same time has fashionable features. We mainly look for women's shoes, but at the fair in Riva del Garda I also found a very good line of men's footwear.
What are the most interesting supplier countries for you?
Well, Italy of course, but at Expo Riva Schuh we also found interesting proposals from Brazilian, Portuguese and Turkish companies. One aspect that particularly impressed me was that, unlike in the United States, the companies we came into contact with were all very flexible and willing to meet us with respect to particular requests, such as the possibility of changing a color or modifying a detail. An aspect that allows us to offer a special product to our customers.
And for the coming winter season, what type of product are you leaning toward?
We are looking for proposals that are not available in the United States: mixes of materials, such as leather, nubuck, fabrics, but also colors... Something unique, interesting and different. For next winter, in particular, we are focused on what appear to be the dominant trends, so boots, chunky soles and a wide variety of sneakers. Our women are generally more fashion-oriented, while men are more conservative in the United States. They demand quality, fit and comfort.
What is your assessment of the Expo Riva Schuh trade show event?
At the fair, I saw many new, diverse and eye-catching proposals, and the fair is well organized and easy to visit. In addition, one cannot fail to emphasize the beauty of the location, nestled between a magnificent lake and beautiful mountains! In such a spectacular setting, it is easy and pleasant to work! We are so excited that we will certainly come back for the next season as well.
What do you appreciate most about the event?
Undoubtedly the timing is key, because being able to see the new collections well in advance, request any changes, and make sure they are in the store on the useful dates is very important. After Covid, with the various supply chain disruptions, we had a lot of difficulty getting seasonal products into the store in time for the season. Which has created quite a few problems for us, especially since Ohio has two core seasons, winter and summer, while spring and fall are often short and insignificant. This is why a trade show like Expo Riva Schuh, which opens the fashion season and allows us to view the collections well in advance, is crucial for us.