Footwear, first quarter 2023 sales and exports grow in value





The Italian footwear industry continues on the road to recovery. In the first quarter of this year, turnover grew by +13.6 percent compared to the same period in 2022, according to data compiled by the Confindustria Moda Study Center for Assocalzaturifici. The data come two months before the start of the 96th edition of Micam, the world's leading international footwear show and a reference point for operators from all over the world, which will present PE 24 collections at Fiera Milano Rho from Sept. 17th to 20th. "After yet another record achieved in final 2022 (12.65 billion euros, +23% over 2021), the increase in exports continues, marking +16.1% in value," explains Giovanna Ceolini, president of Assocalzaturifici. With the exception of Switzerland (-7.8%), all the top 20 international destinations for Italian footwear show increases in value and almost always in double digits.


"The discourse in terms of volume is different, where North America slows down substantially (-19.4%) and brakes Germany (-8.8%), the United Kingdom (-10.1%) and direct flows to Switzerland (-24.8%), the traditional logistics hub of luxury brands," Giovanna Ceolini explains. "Rebound in Russia and Ukraine, although it should be borne in mind that in March last year, immediately after the start of the conflict, sales to the two markets had plummeted. The recovery in the domestic market also continues with +8.2 percent in spending household purchases on January-March 2022.

A breakdown by product type sees the leather upper footwear sector - first in importance with a 63 percent share of foreign sales in value - as the only one to show export increases in the first quarter both in value (+18.6 percent) and volume (+1.4 percent). As for export trends in the territories, there are strong export growths in some provinces, which can be attributed to the presence of logistics hubs, often linked to online sales, or warehouses of luxury multinationals.


As a result of these movements, Lombardy (+49.5 percent) overtook Tuscany (-6 percent) in the export ranking by region, moving up to second place behind Veneto (+12.6 percent). With the exception of Tuscany and Apulia (which remained stable), all other areas with a footwear vocation show double-digit increases; by +20.3 percent was Marche's growth (with similar intensity for Fermo, +23.3 percent, and Macerata, +21.8 percent, and more moderate for Ascoli, +13.6 percent), thanks to which pre-Covid first quarter 2019 levels were exceeded by 4 percent.

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