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Struggles continue for Italian footwear industry
2018/9/20 16:19:18 Source: footwearbiz Author: 点击率:

New figures released by industry body Assocalzaturifici have shown that the Italian footwear industry is still struggling to recover from its slump, despite signs of promise in 2017.

During the first five months of 2018, Italy’s footwear exports fell 1.7% in volume compared to the same period of last year. The value of these exports was 3.2% higher, however, driven by a 5% increase in the average price per pair to €42.20.

Exports to countries in the European Union, the destination of 70% of the shoes Italy sends overseas, fell 5.1% in volume but increased 2.8% in value. There were stable figures from Germany (+0.3% in volume and +2.8% in value) and the UK (+0.6% in volume and 6.4% in value), but the news was less positive from France (-8.9% in volume), Spain (-8.3% in volume) and the Netherlands (-6.7% in volume).

In the Far East, the strong performance of China and South Korea, with respective increases of 23% and 11% in value, was offset by a decrease of 10% in the value of footwear exports to Japan.

There was what Assocalzaturifici described as an “abrupt slowdown” in the CIS area, with Italian shoe exports to Russia falling 9.1% in value and 12.5% in volume compared to the first five months of 2017. The industry body added that this situation is not likely to improve any time soon due to continuing EU sanctions against Russia, to which Assocalzaturifici has often expressed its opposition.

Reacting to the results, Annarita Pilotti, chair of Assocalzaturifici, said: “We hoped that 2017 would represent a turning point for our segment, but the slowdown in foreign sales and in production rhythms that occurred during the first part of 2018 must force us to reflect and think new strategies because Paradise is still too far away to be glimpsed.”

Ms Pilotti went on to praise the “unique characteristics” of Italian shoe companies, which she listed as passion, persistence, creativity, tradition and know-how. She said these qualities had allowed the country’s footwear manufacturers to retain their place “at the centre of the fashion industry” in spite of the threat posed by an unstable international climate and competition from countries that offer cheaper, but inferior, products. These challenges have “heavily damaged” the Italian footwear sector, according to Ms Pilotti.

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