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• The headlines hit close to home for Footwear News in April, when two bombs exploded — one near The Tannery and one at the finish line of the Boston Marathon — just as one of FN’s own editors as well as many industry friends and colleagues were nearing the area. In the wake of the attack, Bostonians proved their resilience, and firms such as locally based New Balance donated generously to One Fund Boston.
• Fashion firms also opened their pockets last month after Typhoon Haiyan claimed more than 6,000 lives in the Philippines. Among those helping the cause were Skechers USA Inc., Soles4Souls, Macy’s Inc., Nordstrom Inc., Dansko and many more.
• All eyes were on the East earlier in the year, when an apparel factory collapsed in Rana Plaza, in a suburb of Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 1,132 workers. The incident prompted intense discussions about improving workers’ rights and safety standards.
• Speaking of failures, the U.S. government shutdown, from Oct. 1-17, took a toll on the economy. More than 800,000 federal employees were furloughed, and several major retailers were affected, including DSW Inc. and Shoe Carnival Inc.
• Two people who did deliver this year — literally — were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who welcomed son Prince George in July. And all in the kids’ shoe realm are eagerly anticipating his future impact on trends and revenues.