The curtain falls in Tokyo and rises in Berlin. In the Japanese capital, trade fair Moda Italia closed on July 7, hosting Shoes from Italy. On the same day in Germany, Premium Berlin kicks off. Japan and Germany are two important markets for the Italian leather area. The latest financial studies give the former in recovery, even strong, thanks to the end of the Covid wave. This weakening euro and rising product and shipping costs are a brake. The German market is not in great shape, but it is still one of the main markets for shoes and bags made in Italy.
Japan on the upswing
“The final balance is good,” says Remo Paolo Papini of Manovie Toscane, an expert on the Rising Sun market. “Shoes from Italy represents an excellent opportunity to be present and maintain contact with customers. But it is only one of the steps necessary to work in Japan. Setting up a penetration strategy requires many other steps before and after this show”. Also confirming the revival of the Japanese market is the Hey Discount study. Which elects Tokyo as the best shopping city in the world: within one mile of the city there are 1,970 shopping venues and 240 shopping centres.
More than any other metropolis. And there are also 149 official retailers and outlet boutiques, as Fashion Network reports. Papini, meanwhile, is very cautious: “Honestly, I don’t see this great recovery, which is perhaps a prerogative of luxury“. For footwear entrepreneur Fabiano Ricci: “Yesterday and today were busier days than the first day, but business is being held back by the exchange rate of the yen against the euro”.
The feelings for leather goods are also very similar. “During the three days in Tokyo, there was a discrete turnout. Buyers are keen to buy, ” says Roberta Gandolfi, of the leather goods of the homonymous company, “even if they are being price-conscious because of the unfavourable yen/euro exchange rate and a local economy that is proceeding slowly. The positive news is that the Japanese are planning trips to Europe in September and are thinking about more freedom from next year. I think the recovery is now limited to luxury. For the products in the other segments, I still see suffering, unless the product itself is so attractive that it triggers the customer’s desire to buy”.
Down with Berlin
Premium opened in Berlin on July 7, ending on Saturday, July 9. Many Italians will be present, including the brand Viola Fonti, which has Germany as its target market. “Premium is a showcase that comes at the end of winter and beginning of summer, so I do not expect many orders,” says Fabio Fonti. “We hope that there will be visitors, and that we will make contacts to build relationships that could lead to orders”.