THE ITALIAN FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY: IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2020 THERE WAS A FALL IN PRODUCTION (-34.9%) AND TURNOVER (-36.3%)
Siro Badon, Chair of Assocalzaturifici: “Household spending fell by -30%, despite the boom in online sales (+42%) due to the closing of shops during the lockdown. The restart after the loosening of restrictions is proving difficult”

Slowdown in exports: in the first six months -26.4% in quantity and -25.4% in value (with average prices up slightly, +1.3%)

The first half of the year was difficult for the Italian footwear manufacturing sector as it was severely tested by the pandemic: the Istat industrial production index fell by -34.9%, while company turnover fell by -36.3% according to the sample conducted with Members. The snapshot for the sector emerges from the report prepared by the Confindustria Moda Research Centre for Assocalzaturifici, which was presented to the industry’s professionals and the media during the Press Conference for Micam.

“The health emergency has had a major impact on the performance of our production sector – explains Siro Badon, Chair of Assocalzaturifici–. Aside from the reduction in output and turnover, there was also a marked drop in domestic consumption and exports. Household spending fell by -30%, despite the boom in online sales (+42%) due to the closing of shops during the lockdown. Exports also fared poorly: -22% in volume for EU markets, which account for 2 pairs of shoes out of every 3 sold abroad, and -33.4% in volume for non-EU markets, with the balance of trade down significantly (-34%) but still showing a surplus of 1.6 billion Euro. The post lockdown restart, after the loosening of restrictions, is proving to be extremely slow: sales in Italy are still down (-29% in quantity in May and -7% in June), whereas exports were down - 27% in volume for May and June after the collapse (-50%) in the previous two months. The bad news also extends to employment with a decrease in both the number of companies (-77 since January) and the workforce (-520). These figures should set the alarm bells ringing in terms of employment trends in coming months. Our production system, which mainly comprises small and medium/small businesses, has been severely tested, having been forced to contend with a lack of liquidity caused by the cancellation of orders, returns and unpaid invoices. I therefore hope that this edition of Micam, which will be one of the first major events to feature attendees after the lockdown, can truly represent a breath of fresh air for our companies. Meetings at the trade fair still represent the most important opportunity for growth on the market and the best way of negotiating orders”.

In terms of exports, the Istat data show a reduction in quantity of -26.4% and a -25.4% reduction in value terms for the first 6 months of the year. A total of 78.7 million were exported for a value of 3.8 billion – including pure commercialisation transactions – which represented a drop of more than 28 million pairs compared to the first six months of 2019. To understand how exceptional the current situation is, it is sufficient to state that these volumes are 24% lower than for the same period in 2009, in the full throes of the global economic crisis (when footwear exports amounted to 104 million pairs)

There were across-the-board reductions across global markets, with very few exceptions: among the main destination markets there were increases only for Poland and Portugal (which lost 11.4% in value terms); South Korea had a +0.6% in value, with -4.6% in quantity. There is a prevalence of negative figures everywhere. Germany, the number one market in volume terms, that had already shown a negative trends in 2019, fell by 17%, for both volume and value. There were strong falls in flows towards China and Hong Kong (-31.4% and -44.1% in value respectively) with the Far East losing about 30% on the whole, in both quantity and value. There was a significant slip in the CIS markets (-37% in volume and -30% in value); performance was bad in the US (almost -40%) and the Middle East (-26% in quantity). Volume towards Switzerland (the traditional logistics and distribution hub for the major international luxury brands) fell by about a quarter and there was a fall of about a third towards France (another main destination for contract manufacturing), the countries occupying the first two spots in the value league table.

The assessment by merceological type highlights reductions of more than 20% in volume for all segments, except for the residual segment of footwear with rubber uppers (-1%): there were reductions of just over -30% for leather shoes (with similar falls, i.e. -34%, for the men and women segments and -30% for children's shoes); -23% in quantity for shoes made in fabric; - 21% for synthetic shoes and -38% for slippers.

Breaking the figures (for footwear + parts, in value terms only) down on a geographical level, there were significant falls during the first half of the year for all the main exporting regions, with the sole exception of Emilia Romagna (+20%) which was driven by Piacenza, a logistics and distribution hub that has been growing constantly in recent years given its fundamental importance in the delivery of goods purchased online. The biggest reductions concerned Tuscany (-44%), the Marche (that fell by -32.5% on the whole, with Fermo and Macerata falling by -31% and Ascoli Piceno falling -39%) and Campania (-34%). There were reductions in line with the national average for Lombardy (-25.1%), that fared slightly worse than Veneto (-20.2%, this is Italy’s biggest exporting region with a share of 27.4% on the total value of Italian exports), Puglia (-22,2%) and Piedmont (-20.9%). Florence remains the leading province for exports despite losing -43.7% on a year-on-year basis during the first six months of 2020.

In terms of company birth rates and employment, the report revealed that in July 10% of companies still had their staff working remotely. For footwear manufacturers, at the end of June 2020, there were 4,249 companies and a workforce of 74,370 in Italy across industrial and craftsmanship sectors (with a decrease of -77 companies and -520 workers compared to December 2019). Considering also components, the reduction from the start of the year increases to -161 companies and -1295 workers according to Infocamere-Movimprese.

The use of CIG wage support increased significantly in the Leather Area: on the whole, for the first six months of 2020, a total of just under 39 million hours were authorised, a jump of +878% compared to the number of authorised hours during the first half of 2019 (4 million). This was almost 5 times the number of hours authorised during 2019 as a whole (8.3 million hours).

Speedy News Headlines Index Links
 
  MODA MADE IN ITALY: SEPTEMBER EVENT
IN MUNICH CANCELLED - Z1421
  THE ITALIAN FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY: A STEEP DROP IN EXPORTS (IN MARCH - 33.7% BY VOLUME AND -30% BY VALUE) AND DOMESTIC SALES (-33.7% IN THE FIRST FOUR MONTHS OF THE YEAR BY VALUE, -29.7% BY VOLUME) - Z1417
       
 

THE FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY SEES A DROP IN BOTH SALES (-38.4%) AND ORDERS (-46.2%) IN THE FIRST QUARTER - Z1407

  ASSOCALZATURIFICI ALONGSIDE ITS MEMBER COMPANIES during the Covid19 emergency announces a strategic partnership with a multi-channel platform aimed at selling stock online to more than 400,000 e-tailers worldwide - Z1406
       
  ASSOCALZATURIFICI: TRADE FAIRS IN KIEV AND MUNICH INDEFINITELY POSTPONED - Z1396


  THE ITALIAN FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY: IN 2019 EXPORTS INCREASED (+6.8% IN VALUE TERMS) BUT PRODUCTION SLOWED DOWN (-3.1% IN QUANTITY) - Z1374
       
  HIGHS AND LOWS OF THE ITALIAN FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY IN 2019 - Z1313   THE ITALIAN FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY:
IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2019 EXPORTS INCREASED BY +7.1% IN VALUE - Z1290
       
  ELISA LANCIOTTI ELECTED NEW CHAIR OF ASSOCALZATURIFICI YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS - Z1285


  THE ITALIAN FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY GOES TO MUNICH FOR MODA MADE IN ITALY 2020
- Z1284
       
Assocalzaturifici - Trade Association for Italian Shoemakers (Z1421)

MODA MADE IN ITALY: SEPTEMBER EVENT
IN MUNICH CANCELLED

The German market, of fundamental importance for the Italian footwear industry,
will now be served by the new digital opportunities
introduced by Assocalzaturifici


Moda Made in Italy, originally scheduled for September in Munich, is cancelled. The overall conditions of this complicated time have unfortunately led Assocalzaturifici to make this decision as part of a wider-ranging assessment of international trade fairs for the footwear industry in today’s profoundly changed world.

The event has been an important date on the calendar of numerous footwear companies for over 25 years, playing an essential role in consolidation of the German market, which continues to be the top market for Italian footwear in Europe.

Exports of Italian shoes to Germany grew between 2014 and 2018. Not until 2019 did they begin to drop in terms of both quantity and value (by -8.4% and -1.4%) over the previous year, while the average price continued to grow (7.6%). In absolute terms, Italy's footwear exports to Germany are worth more than a billion euro, with 3 million and 800 thousand pairs sold on the German market in 2019.

Changes in demand and the current situation have led Assocalzaturifici to focus on a new way of maintaining contact with the German market that will be of use to German buyers and, of course, to Italian companies, with both a physical and a digital dimension.

The cancellation of Moda Made in Italy is a painful measure, but of course it does not mean the association will be abandoning Germany, a very important market in which Assocalzaturifici will continue to invest in the future.

Just as it will continue to work in partnership with MOC, Munich Order Center, the prestigious location that successfully hosted the Moda Made in Italy trade fair for more than two decades.

Under a special agreement between ANCI Servizi and the trade fair centre, footwear companies will be able to open a showroom in which to meet with buyers on the dates for which the fair was originally scheduled, from September 27 to 29, 2020. German buyers and footwear companies will also be able to use the online business tool launched by MICAM Milano, which will be going ahead on September 20 through 23, 2020 at Fiera Milano Rho.

MICAM Milano Digital Show, powered by NuORDER is a new platform offering an opportunity to reach the German market, along with others, that will be online from September 15 through November 15, 2020. The new platform will allow companies to support their business online while offering buyers the opportunity to make purchases directly through the portal.

As the world goes back to business, digital technologies, along with flexible opportunities to meet in person, offer important opportunities for footwear companies targeting buyers in Germany, providing indispensable support as the companies continue to offer the market products of unrivalled excellence despite the world-wide shutdown due to the COVID-19 emergency.

Assocalzaturifici - Trade Association for Italian Shoemakers (Z1417)

THE ITALIAN FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY: A STEEP DROP IN EXPORTS (IN MARCH - 33.7% BY VOLUME AND -30% BY VALUE) AND DOMESTIC SALES (-33.7% IN THE FIRST FOUR MONTHS OF THE YEAR BY VALUE, -29.7% BY VOLUME)

The trends in the first few months of 2020 as recorded by Confindustria Moda Research Centre for Assocalzaturificii


Milan, 7 July 2020 - Covid-19 has had serious repercussions for Italy’s footwear industry, which registered a steep drop in both exports and domestic sales in the early months of 2020. The figures collected and processed by the Confindustria Moda Research Centre for Assocalzaturifici speak clearly: in the month of March, exports were -33.7% lower by quantity, -30% in terms of value, while domestic consumption dropped -29.7% by volume, -33.7% in terms of expenditure. “The figures confirm the negative trend revealed a few weeks ago in our survey of the impact of the pandemic on Italy’s footwear industry, conducted in the midst of the lockdown,” reports Assocalzaturifici Chair Siro Badon. “In the first quarter of the year, enterprises suffered an average drop in sales of -38.4%, and the industry is estimated to have lost 1.7 billion euro. Moreover, use of wage support in April-May increased +2437%, with 31.5 million hours authorised, as compared to 1.2 million in the same period in 2019. This means almost four times as many hours as in the whole of last year, in only two months. The situation was made critical by the combination of a number of negative factors: the impossibility of working during the medical emergency and household demand, which was heavily penalised by the interruption of sales through brick-and-mortar stores in March and April, plus a tendency to be very cautious about making purchases. We attempted to combat the effects of this slowdown through intense dialogue with national institutions, requesting reinforcement of line 394. It is essential for Simest to be able to provide funding to Italian companies participating in international trade fairs held in Italy, such as MICAM, scheduled for September. Some of this funding must take the form of non-repayable grants. This is the only real way for small to mid-sized enterprises to get going again on world markets”.
The survey of household purchases reveals widespread shrinkage in all product categories, with a decrease of more than 30% in terms of both volume and value as compared to January - April 2019 (with the exception of slippers and lounge footwear, down -17% in terms of the number of pairs and -16% in terms of expenditure) with an average drop in price of -5.7%.

The Italian market has slowed down very sharply, despite the understandable growth of online purchases. According to the market research firm Sita Ricerca, web sales in the fashion industry grew in the first quarter of the year by +14% in terms of value to represent a 23% share of total expenditure, as compared to 13.1% in 2019.

In international trade, 52.7 million pairs of shoes were exported in the first three months of the year – including pure marketing operations: more than 9 million less than in January - March 2019, worth 2.43 billion euro (-14.7% by volume, -9.2% by value). The trend was destined to worsen in April, another month of prolonged inactivity, when Istat’s monthly index of production in the footwear industry registered a drop of -89.3%, following upon a -55.2% drop in March.

A decline of close to -20% by volume was registered in exports of shoes with leather or fabric uppers (-17.4% for both types compared to the first three months of 2019) and slippers (-20.5%). The drop in exports of synthetic shoes was less marked (-8.6%), the only sector to reveal a slight positive trend in terms of value (+1.2%).

Breakdown by geographic area reveals a significant drop both within the EU (considering 27 countries this year, following Brexit) and outside the EU. Flows to EU markets were down -12.6% in terms of volume and -8.2% in terms of value, while exports outside the EU shrank even further, -18.2% in terms of quantity and -10.1% in terms of value.
Exports were down on all markets, with very few exceptions: the only one of the top 15 destinations for Italian footwear exports to grow in volume was Poland. South Korea registered growth of +17.2% in terms of value while limiting losses in terms of quantity to -2.7%. Exports to Germany, which already revealed a negative trend in 2019, dropped -6.1% in terms of number of pairs, -3.3% in terms of value. Exports to China and Hong Kong dropped sharply (-23% in terms of quantity for both), while the drop in the number of pairs exported to CIS countries was similar (-23.4%). The USA also performed poorly (-15.2%). Exports to Switzerland and France, which ranked first and second in terms of value, dropped by more than 20% in volume.

The trade balance for the first three months of the year remained positive by 1 billion euro, but shrank by -15%.



Assocalzaturifici - Trade Association for Italian Shoemakers (Z1407)

THE FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY SEES A DROP IN BOTH SALES (-38.4%) AND ORDERS (-46.2%) IN THE FIRST QUARTER


In the first quarter of 2020 footwear companies saw an average drop in sales of -38.4%, with total losses estimated at 1.7 billion euro.

The figure emerges from a study of the impact of Covid-19 on the footwear industry conducted by Confindustria Moda with the participation of 88 Assocalzaturifici member companies, who replied to the survey during the lockdown.

60% of the footwear companies sampled reported a -20% to -50% drop in sales in the first quarter of 2020 as compared to the first quarter of 2019, while an additional 20% of those surveyed saw their sales shrink by more than -50%. There was a steep drop in orders: 46% of the companies interviewed reported receiving -20% to -50% less orders in the first quarter of this year, while 37% saw their order portfolio cut by more than -50%. The average decrease in orders was -46.2%.

According to Assocalzaturifici Chairman Siro Badon: “The lockdown has had a significant impact on the sector. Unlike the textiles industry, we are unable to convert our production lines, and so we have registered a steeper drop in sales and orders than other companies in the fashion industry. We need bold structural measures by the government regulating credit, taxation and support for exports. These are the strategic resources required by companies in one of Italy’s most crucial industries”.

93% of footwear industries resorted to social security or plan to do so in the near future. More than 3/4 of the respondents stated that 80% of their workforce resorted to wage support or other social security measures, such as those available to craftspeople. On the whole, the percentage of employees who may take advantage of social security is 88.6% of the total workforce of the footwear companies contacted in the survey. The way we work has also changed: 61% of the companies allowed professionals who could do so to work from home, representing 11% of the total workforce of the companies sampled.

The survey noted the biggest problems companies have had to deal with during the emergency and their feelings about the future, asking entrepreneurs what measures they would like to see from the government to promote recovery. In the first case, it emerged that key difficulties include relations with customers, cash shortages and cancellation of trade fairs. The survey respondents saw the strategic priorities for government intervention as policies aimed at guaranteeing liquidity, social security measures, appropriate fiscal policy and trade fairs.


Assocalzaturifici - Trade Association for Italian Shoemakers (Z1405)
ASSOCALZATURIFICI ALONGSIDE ITS MEMBER COMPANIES during the Covid19 emergency announces a strategic partnership with a multi-channel platform aimed at selling stock online to more than 400,000 e-tailers worldwide


Today, Assocalzaturifici announces its partnership with Brandsdistribution and the launch of the multichannel platform BDroppy: an initiative that offers footwear brands a quick and easy way of selling online, reaching thousands of drop shippers all over the world and making their products accessible to millions of consumers in over 50 countries, from America to England, Germany to Spain.

The idea behind the launch of the platform is to place the know-how of Brandsdistribution, a dropshipping company that has been operating successfully on the world market for years, at the disposal of brands and retailers. Brandsdistribution has 12 years of experience, 450,000 retailers registered worldwide, 1.2 million views per year, over 100 million euros made in sales, worldwide shipping and customer care in eight languages.

As Siro Badon, Chair of Assocalzaturifici, explained: “In view of the current COVID-19 epidemiological emergency which, in compliance with the various restrictive measures imposed by the government, has led to the temporary closure of all shoe and clothes shops, our association has entered into a partnership with Brandsdistribution with the aim of bringing Italian footwear brands onto the digital b2b BDroppy platform. This represents a concrete opportunity for many of our member companies that produce high-quality goods but do not have the necessary resources themselves to emerge in the world of e-commerce. The partnership with Brandsdistribution will in fact allow our ‘Made-in-Italy’ brands to maximise their advertising and marketing investments and sell their products directly, using a well-established platform such as Brandsdistribution, with its 450,000 retailers and digital vendors, as a springboard. At the present moment, the survival of our sector, and of the ‘Made-in-Italy’ fashion industry as a whole, depends inevitably on the new platforms. Today’s retailers have to face up to the fact that they can no longer limit themselves to only providing a tactile, in-store sales experience, but must be able to offer remote access to products and information as well. This technology is even more important at the present moment since it can help dispose of the excess stock that has accumulated as a result of the lockdown”.

“When we launched BDroppy – says Carlo Tafuri, COO of Brandsdistribution – our aim was to offer brands and retailers practical help in expanding their business horizons, by joining a worldwide platform. Those who choose BDroppy can take advantage of our company’s database, experience and daily work to start selling worldwide straight away, without marketing investments.

The partnership with Assocalzaturifici is an important recognition of our commitment and of the value that today, more than ever before, the web represents for ‘Made-in-Italy’ brands.

Companies and retailers can apply to join BDroppy. Their products and the ability of brands to efficiently manage orders and shipments are assessed by our experts and at that point the references enter our catalogue, which already has hundreds of thousands of products. Thanks to our platform, it only takes a single click to reach not only thousands of dropshippers all over the world but also to connect with a vast and heterogeneous public through online marketplaces".

www.bdroppy.com


Assocalzaturifici - Trade Association for Italian Shoemakers (Z1396)
ASSOCALZATURIFICI: TRADE FAIRS IN KIEV AND MUNICH INDEFINITELY POSTPONED


Due to the restrictions imposed by the Italian government’s 9 March 2020 decree imposing new measures for the limitation of the spread of Covid-19 virus, which restrict the mobility of Italian citizens, and acknowledging the restrictive measures imposed by local authorities, the trade fairs planned for Kiev (La Moda Italiana) and Munich (Moda Made in Italy) will be postponed to a date to be determined.

“We have been carefully monitoring the situation every day,” comments Assocalzaturifici Chair Siro Badon, “but in view of the travel restrictions imposed on our participants and exhibitors and global concern about the health and safety of our community, we are forced to announce, with great regret, that we will not be able to go ahead with the two trade fairs in Ukraine and Germany. Our decision, which we have discussed at length with all the partners involved, is dictated by a deep sense of responsibility to the community, first of all, and to the footwear industry involved in the trade fair events, in particular. The gravity of the situation requires us to act boldly, right now. We are all going through a very difficult time, and we must act together to limit the possibility of contagion. We are profoundly disappointed at having to make this difficult decision, and it is our intention to discuss with our trade fair partners the possibility of rescheduling the events at a date to be determined as soon as the global health emergency allows us to resume operations as normal”.

The two events are held in countries of great importance for Italy’s footwear industry. According to the latest figures, Ukraine is Italy’s second largest export market in the former CIS nations, with 561,787 pairs of shoes (-3.8 in the past year) worth a total of 37.87 million euro (-10.1% in the past year) at an average price of 67.40 euro a pair. Germany is the third-largest destination in the world for Italian shoes, importing 27,237,000 pairs of shoes (-9.3%) worth a total of 863.18 million euro (-2.7%) at an average price of 31.69 euro a pair.


Assocalzaturifici - Trade Association for Italian Shoemakers (Z1374)
THE ITALIAN FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY: IN 2019 EXPORTS INCREASED (+6.8% IN VALUE TERMS) BUT PRODUCTION SLOWED DOWN (-3.1% IN QUANTITY)
Siro Badon, Chair of Assocalzaturifici: “The record for exports - which luxury brands helped propel past ten billion euro in value terms - was attenuated by reductions in export and manufacturing volumes, which essentially translate to a falling workforce, against the backdrop of a domestic market in the grips of a recession”
 

A year of ups and downs for the Italian footwear industry: in 2019 exports increased (+6.8% in value terms) as did the trade surplus (+10.3%) but there was a slowdown in production (-3.1% in terms of volume). The snapshot for the sector emerges from the report prepared by the Confindustria Moda Research Centre for Assocalzaturifici, which was presented to the industry’s professionals during the Press Conference for Micam.

“The record for exports, which exceeded ten billion euro in value terms on the back of the performance of luxury brands (as demonstrated by the increase of +27% in flows towards Switzerland, the traditional logistics and distribution hub for these brands) is attenuated by some unencouraging signs – explains Siro Badon, Chair of AssocalzaturificiThe reductions in export and manufacturing volumes equate to a falling workforce for the sector, against the backdrop of a domestic market in the grips of a recession. To this we must add the major uncertainties for 2020, with the as yet unquantifiable consequences for the global economy from the coronavirus emergency, which broke out in one of the few areas of constant growth for our sector in the last decade. In this complex situation, our industry needs to focus on technological innovation and on training new professionals in order to manage the generational turnover process. These are the drivers for improving the performance of a sector that - with its workforce of 75,000 people, trade surplus of almost 5 billion euro and production of 8 billion - is of crucial importance to the Italian economy".

In terms of exports, the analysis of the main foreign destination markets reveals trends that fell short of expectations in Russia (-15.3% in quantity in the first 10 months) and the other countries of the former Soviet bloc, with serious repercussions for the Italian districts that have traditionally relied on this area; there were also fairly significant reductions in Germany (-9.3% deriving from the slowdown in the economy), the Middle East (-9.2%) and Japan (- 6.7%, despite an increase in value of +6.8%). On the other hand, there were positive performances in France (+6.4% in volume and +9.3% in value), increases of around 10% in value in the US and China, and almost 20% in South Korea, after yet another doublefigure increase.

Discounting flows to Switzerland and France - the main destinations for contract manufacturing by fashion brands, which together account for 1/3 of foreign sales in value terms - the increase of Italian footwear exports in the first 10 months of the year would only have been +2.6% (down from +7.1%), with a reduction in volume of around -3%.

The negative trend for domestic consumption continues, with reductions for household spending in both volume and value terms (-3.2% and -2.3% respectively). There was a limited increase in average prices (+0.9%), demonstrating that price sensitivity remains very high (with more than half of overall sales taking place during annual and fire sales).

Despite the sector's high export propensity (approximately 85% of our country's production is sold in foreign markets), the continual erosion of domestic consumption is a significant criticality, since Italy remains the third largest market in volume terms for our companies, after France and Germany, and retains a strategic importance. Only sports shoes/sneakers fared well, with an overall +0.7% increase in volume and a +1.5% increase in value compared to 2018 (with sneakers stable and increases of around 2% for sports shoes). There were significant reductions for "classic" men's shoes (in the order of -8%, in both volume and value terms) and women’s shoes (-5.2% in volume, despite a stable performance for ankle boots and high boots). The reduction for the children’s segment was more modest (approximately -1.2%) even though it was consistently negative across almost all shoe types. The figures for slippers are also negative (-4.3% in volume).

Finally, in terms of company birth rates and employment, at the end of December 2019 the sector had 4,326 companies (179 less) and 74,890 direct employees (-790), down by a nonnegligible -4.0% and -1.0% respectively on levels in December 2018. Considering also components, negative balances increased to -266 companies and -1,086 employees, with heterogeneous performance trends across regions. The Marche, which was heavily affected by the crisis in Russia and the CIS, experienced the largest reduction in absolute terms (- 122 companies, for industrial and craft operators as whole) In terms of the number of workers, the biggest reductions were again to be seen in the Marche (-1251) and Emilia Romagna (-278), while there were reductions in the order of 100 units for Lombardy and Tuscany.

Evidence of the above described tensions in terms of employment also emerges from INPS data for wage support hours (CIG). The number of authorised hours during the course of 2019 in the leather supply chain was up to almost 8.3 million (+28% compared to the 6.5 million hours authorised in 2018), after two years of significant reductions.

The regional analysis reveals widespread increases, with the exception of Tuscany (-19%) and Puglia (-38%) in terms of the most important footwear manufacturing regions. Marche (+48%) was the leading region in terms of the number of hours authorised (2.7 million, 1/3 of the national total). There were increases of around 80% for Veneto and 47% for Campania.


Assocalzaturifici - Trade Association for Italian Shoemakers (Z1313)
HIGHS AND LOWS OF THE ITALIAN FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY IN 2019
A snapshot of the current state of the industry emerging from a survey of the first nine months of 2019 conducted by the Confindustria Moda Research Centre for Assocalzaturifici

EXPORTS ARE UP (+6.7% BY VALUE) BUT VOLUME OF PRODUCTION IS DOWN (-2.9%) AS ARE HOUSEHOLD PURCHASES (-3.3%)


It has been a year of ups and downs for the Italian footwear industry: 2019 saw a drop in production (-2.9% by quantity over the first nine months of the previous year) and household purchases (-3.3% by quantity), while exports performed well (+6.7% by value). These are the most significant figures to emerge from a note on economic trends in the first nine months of 2019 prepared by the Confindustria Moda Research Centre for Assocalzaturifici.

The report reveals the widening gap between the performance of the big brand names and that of the small enterprises producing shoes under their own trademarks, which form the backbone of the country’s footwear-making districts: more than half of the sample surveyed reported lower levels of production in the first nine months of this year than in the same period last year (-2.9% average by volume, but with a much more marked drop in production among smaller businesses).

“The international success of Italian shoes, confirming the appeal of Italian fashions on world markets, has been rescaled by shrinkage in volumes, translating into a drop in production and employment,” explains Assocalzaturifici Chair Siro Badon. “At this time of low domestic demand, we ought to be patriotic and support Italian footwear makers by buying more Italian shoes. The whole world envies us for the creations of our small shoemaking businesses, but we often underestimate their worth, carried away by our preference for international fashions. The footwear industry needs a new emphasis on youth and innovation. The industry needs to invest in vocational training for the workers of the future, because our companies are going through a hard time, characterised by generational turnover, and, especially, to make use of the innovative business platforms at its disposal. The next Micam, the leading footwear trade fair, in February will introduce a new area called Micam X, an initiative bringing together the most innovative, high-tech proposals for footwear, demonstrating to dealers from all over the world the latest new trends in three important areas: materials, retail and sustainability. Sustainability above all is the key driver for intercepting consumers’ demands and changing lifestyles today. Global markets are of course important to our member companies, but it’s equally important to make sure everyone sits down at the table to play by the same rules. This is why we're working hard to obtain European approval of legislation introducing obligatory information on origin.

If customers all over the world and the most prestigious fashion brands are willing to pay a premium price for shoes made in Italy, we need to protect this added value. Otherwise the industrial heritage of a crucial sector of the Italian economy will be lost, with very serious consequences for employment in the country.”

There has been no significant improvement in domestic demand since the summer: household purchases were down -3.3% by quantity in the first nine months of the year, or -2.6% by value. The only growing segment is athletic footwear and sneakers (+1.5% by volume and +3.5% in terms of spending). Sales of “classic” shoes were down for both men (by about 10% by volume) and women (-6%, though sales of ankle boots and high boots remained stable).

One of the few areas to perform positively was exports, up +6.7% by value thanks to work performed on contract for luxury brands, with a slight drop in terms of quantity (-0.8% in the first eight months of the year, as much as -4.2% in the case of leather shoes) and an average price +7.5% higher. Breaking down the trends by market, there were encouraging signs from Switzerland (+24.2% by value) and France (+9% in terms of both value and volume), which together account for almost a third of the total value of Italy’s footwear exports, while difficulty persisted in exports to Germany (-8.7% by volume), Russia (-18.5%) and the Middle East (-14%), with a -12.8% drop by volume in the Arab Emirates. Exports to the USA were up (+11.6% by value), as were exports to the Far East (+9.2% on the whole). The “China+Hong Kong” aggregate, now the fifth largest export market by value, grew 3.1% by volume and 8.5% in terms of value.

The total number of footwear manufacturers in the first nine months of 2019 was 4,357 (148 less than in the previous year, a -3.3% drop), while the number of employees remained practically unchanged at 75,474 (-0.3%, 206 workers less). The period saw significantly increased resort to wage support in the leather industry (+28.3% authorised hours).

In the end, people in the business are pessimistic about the future. The majority of those interviewed about their expectations for the coming year did not foresee any growth at all, and practically all of them don’t believe that the measures included in the2020 Economic and Finance Document will bring any economic benefits for enterprises.


Assocalzaturifici - Trade Association for Italian Shoemakers (Z1290)
THE ITALIAN FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY:
IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2019 EXPORTS INCREASED BY +7.1% IN VALUE


Siro Badon, Chair of Assocalzaturifici: “To get through this difficult period we need to invest in ourselves and in our skills. It is essential to train new professionals that are able to innovate Italian footwear manufacturing companies”

Exports are the only positive note within the sector, even though volumes decreased. On the employment front the number of companies and the industry workforce continue to fall: -119 footwear manufacturers (including both industrial and craft operators), which amounts to a -2.6% reduction, and 492 less workers (-0.7%) compared to December 2018.

Italian footwear appeals to foreign markets: in the first six months of 2019 Italian exports for the sector increased significantly by +7.1% in value (the average price is now 47.55 Euro/pair, +8.2%). This figure comes from the report on the Italian Footwear Industry–First half of 2019 – that was prepared by the Confindustria Moda Research Centre for Assocalzaturifici. The snapshot to emerge from the sectoral report reveals that, despite the performance of exports, certain difficulties still remain due primarily to chronically weak domestic consumption - after a decade of slow decline, in the first half of this year the reduction in household spending intensified (-3.7% in quantity, with much more negative trends for traditional retail). To this we must add the climate of uncertainty at an international level: from the probable continuation of trade tensions and protectionist approaches, to the slowdown of major economies (foremostly China and Germany), through to the lack of a recovery in key markets for certain footwear manufacturing districts. These include Russia where, after a trend reversal in 2018, we are once again seeing reductions of over 15%, and then we have the uncertainties over the timing and mechanics of Brexit, with the danger of a “no deal” still looming large. “To get through this difficult period we need to invest in ourselves and in our skills – states Siro Badon, Chair of Assocalzaturifici –. It is essential to train new professionals that are able to innovate Italian footwear manufacturing companies and fully espouse our tradition and the standards of excellence that characterise our production. Training, combined with targeted internationalisation strategies and important trade fair events like Micam, is the concrete response through which we can kick-start the process of relaunching Italian footwear and confirm our global leadership. The sector is crucial for our economy and can be a driver for Italian industry as a whole".

The evolution of foreign sales, that was positive overall and led to a significant consolidation in the trade surplus for the first 6 months of the year (+10.7%), actually conceals acute differences in company performances. Indeed, alongside outstanding results for many international luxury brands, which a large number of companies operate for as subcontractors (as demonstrated by the significant increases in trade flows towards Switzerland - a traditional logistics and distribution hub for major brands - and France), there is also a fairly significant number of companies still struggling to get back on track and experience positive trends. There is no shortage of expanding markets (with double-figure increases in value for North America and the Far East), but these increases are often accompanied by reductions in volume (of almost -4% for the US and Canada; more limited decreases, -1.1%, for countries in the Far East, with Japan faring poorly).

Specifically, production fell by -2.3% in volume, although smaller companies in the sample that was surveyed (i.e. those with turnover of less than 15 million) experienced reductions of -4.5%, while in terms of domestic consumption the only segment to perform positively was sports shoes/sneakers (+0.8% quantity and +2.9% in value), with significant decreases for “classic” footwear for men and women (-9.5% and -8.3% in volume respectively). With regard to sales channels, online sales continue to increase (+10.3% in volume and +17.3% in expenditure), accounting for 11% of the total volume of sales in the period, while performance was poor for traditional retail (-11% in pairs sold, with a reduction of almost 16% in expenditure) and itinerant traders (with reductions in the region of -14%).

In terms of employment, the reduction in the number of companies and the industry workforce continued: the first half of 2019 closed with a balance of - 119 footwear manufacturers (including both industrial and craft operators), which amounts to a -2.6% reduction, and 492 less workers (-0.7%) compared to December 2018. These reductions are even more severe if we also factor in - in addition to footwear manufacturers - producers of components (-75 companies and -493 workers). Therefore, on the whole, we have 194 less companies and 985 less workers compared to the end of 2018. In geographical terms, there were reductions in the number of companies for all seven of the main footwear manufacturing regions, with the sole exception of Lombardy (+13 units). In terms of the workforce, there were increases in Tuscany (+117 workers) and Puglia. As was the case in 2018, Marche is the region that fared worst, in terms of both production units (-95) and number of workers (-1164). Veneto ended the first half of the year with a reduction of 30 companies, considering footwear manufacturers and component producers, and a small reduction in its workforce (-20 workers compared to the end of 2018). The number of active companies in Emilia Romagna and Campania fell by 12 and 6 units respectively, with a corresponding loss of 149 and 128 jobs. The workforce in Lombardy fell by 57 units (-0.8%). Finally, in the first 6 months of the year authorised wage support hours for companies in the leather supply chain increased by 27.1% to almost 4 million hours.

Milan, 06 November 2019



Assocalzaturifici - Trade Association for Italian Shoemakers (Z1285)-1
ELISA LANCIOTTI ELECTED NEW CHAIR OF ASSOCALZATURIFICI YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS

Today, during the 34th national convention of Confindustria Young Entrepreneurs in Capri, the Assocalzaturifici youth group elected Elisa Lanciotti as Chair for the years 2019-2023. Born in 1987, with a degree in economics and commerce, she is in charge of international sales in her family’s business, Calzaturificio Lancio of Montegranaro (FM).

The new Chair was elected on a strong agenda with a focus on seminars addressing issues such as technological innovation, digital technology in production processes and customer relations, marketing and female entrepreneurs.

All with an emphasis on greater integration and cohesion among young people in different trade associations and effective involvement of youth in the group’s decision-making processes.

Elisa Lanciotti will be flanked by four Deputy Chairs: Federico Bellò of Calzaturificio Bellò in Vigonovo (VE); Sara Cuccu of Loriblu in Porto Sant'Elpidio (FM); Anna Fidanza of Condor Trade in Verolanuova (BS) and Umberto Portogallo of Calzaturificio Florence in Aversa (Caserta).

“Innovation, cohesion and education: these are the three pillars which will guide our programme,” declares Elisa Lanciotti. “We will maintain continuity with the work of outgoing Chair Charlotta Bachini, with an additional emphasis on Industry 4.0”.

Milan, 18 October 2019


Assocalzaturifici -Trade Association for Italian Shoemakers (Z1284)
THE ITALIAN FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY GOES TO MUNICH FOR MODA MADE IN ITALY 2020

The dates of the event have been officially announced, adapted to respond to companies’ requirements and fit into the international calendar. March 15-16 and October 4-6 2020 are the dates of Moda Made in Italy – the international event for high-end footwear and accessories promoted by Assocalzaturifici – bringing together members of the industry and the trade press from southern and central Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The event will once more be held in Munich’s trade fair centre, MOC (Munich Order Centre).

The decision to hold the event on two days in March is dictated by the need to fit the event into Germany’s packed trade fair calendar while responding to the requirements of companies in the industry, who wish to optimise the amount of time they spend at the trade fair with a targeted, less dispersive approach. The initiative aims to maintain continuity with the past despite the event’s new format, guaranteeing that trade fair visitors receive all the usual services and efficiency.

The timing of the event in the second half of the year - during Oktoberfest - is still a critical point, as congestion in the city has an impact on visitors’ decision whether to stay in town longer. The Munich event has always prospered as the last event of the season for the trade, established to give members of the trade more time to think and consider their purchases carefully once they have the initial results of the last season’s sales in hand, at the end of a packed calendar of international and regional events. Changes in the trade fair calendar in recent years and difficult sales dynamics have eroded away our customers’ certainties and resources, so that many of them now prefer to play defensively, giving up courageous, diversified choices in favour of “safer” products, when what they really need is to be bolder in order to stand out and make their range truly unique on a highly competitive, saturated market. Our buyers need more time to think and make the right buying decisions.

In this context of great uncertainty in the European retail business, as evinced by the statistics and attendance at the most recent MICAM and confirmed by dealers’ difficulty and indecision making buying decisions, Moda Made in Italy has decided to postpone its dates to October 4-6, 2020.

The choice of dates for the next edition of Moda Made in Italy will in fact fit into a wider ranging strategy responding to the demands of the market and specifically of buyers interested in the range on display at the event, at a time when the industry has a strong focus on the German market, traditionally an important one for Italian shoes, despite its current lack-lustre performance.

145 brands were showcased at the end of September before dealers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland who have been showing interest in the excellence of Italian footwear for more than twenty years and, at the end of the season, had another opportunity to complete their orders with the best-selling articles and new trends that emerged in the season.

In 2018 alone, Italy exported almost 34 million pairs of shoes to Germany with a total value in excess of a billion Euros. Last year, Germany confirmed its ranking as the second largest market for Italian footwear in terms of quantity, third largest in terms of value.

“The figures for the first five months of 2019 are not as bad as those of the first quarter, and while still negative in terms of volume (-6%), they have matched the first 5 months of 2018 in terms of value, thanks to an increase in average price per pair,” explains Siro Badon, Assocalzaturifici Chair. “In this scenario, Italian footwear makers are still expressing concern about the German market, as revealed by the orders received from Germany in the second quarter of 2019 (-2.2%, according to a survey conducted among a sample of member companies). This is why we are in the front lines promoting meetings with buyers in the area”.

Milan, 21 October 2019


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