A slight drop in visitors (-5%) for Micam, the international footwear exhibition held in Milan in mid-February in the presence of 1,205 exhibitors (628 Italians and 577 foreigners).
“The forecast contraction is confirmed – commented Siro Badon, chairman of Micam and Assocalzaturifici – We have recorded a decrease in Asian buyers and a slowdown in British visitors due to transport difficulties, generated for the first ones by the health emergency and for the latter by meteorological phenomena. There is also a slight decrease in German operators who are experiencing a difficult economic situation. This scenario is offset by the growth of buyers from Russia and the CIS area thanks to the ICE support”.
MICAM X, the area that has collected the most innovative and technological proposals is among the innovations that have met the public’s interest. A rich calendar of seminars and fashion shows presented to operators new market trends, including trends in style, research for materials, sustainability and the future of retail.
The fair gives us the opportunity to take a look at the economic situation in the sector. 2019 was a year of contrasts for made in Italy footwear: production (-2.9% in quantity compared to the same period of the previous year) and household purchases (-3.3% in quantity) decreased against a positive export performance (+6.7% in value). Domestic consumption experienced a reduction of -3.3% in quantity in the first 9 months, with -2.6% in value. Sports shoes and sneakers is the only expanding sector (+1.5% in volume and +3.5% in expenditure). “Classic” shoes for men, instead, have suffered a setback (in the order of 10% in volume) and for women (-6%, despite the hold of ankle boots and high boots).
The export sector is among the few positive performances, which in fact marks a growth of +6.7% in value, thanks to subcontracting for the luxury brands, despite a drop in quantity (-0.8% in the first 8 months of the year, but rising to -4.2% for leather footwear) and an average upward price of +7.5%. Among the markets, encouraging signs come from Switzerland (+ 24.2% in value) and France (+ 9% both in value and volume) which together cover almost 1/3 of foreign sales in value overall, while difficulties remain towards Germany (-8.7% in volume), Russia (-18.5%) and the Middle East (-14%), with a decrease of -12.8% in volume towards the United Arab Emirates. Exports to the USA (+11.6% in value) and Far East (+9.2% globally) stengthen. The “China + Hong Kong” aggregate, which has become the 5th outlet market in value, shows increases of 3.1% in volume and 8.5% in value.
In the sector, enterpreneurs have rather pessimistic views about the future. The majority of them interviewed on their expectations for the coming year by Confindustria Moda Centre on behalf of Assocalzaturifici, exclude growth forecasts; furthermore, almost all believe that the measures contained in the finance law 2020 are unable to bring a positive economic impact on businesses.