Handbags await the opening of Mipel Digital Show, the 119th edition of the Milan-based accessories’ fair that will “take place” on March 23rd and 24th, in a virtual setting. The items wait for the fair after having struggled due to the Coronavirus. ISTAT data shows that, in 2020 industrial production of these items has decreased by 33.9% on yearly base, reports Assopellettieri.
A survey by Confindustria Moda shows that only 8% of those interviewed have increased production levels, compared to the previous year. Difficulties are both a reflection of the situation, as well as a consequence. The study reported that, on average, the decrease was of 36.9%: half the businesses had revenue down between -20% and -50%, while 24% of them lost more than 50%. Projections made by Assopellettieri state that the segment lost about 3.3 billion euro during the year, going from a turnover of 9 billion in 2019 to 5.7 billion in 2020.
The pandemic hit, as expected, exports. The decrease for the first 11 months of the year, compared to the previous comparable period, was of about 26.2% in value and 23.1% in volume, with all product categories suffering. Assopellettieri’s estimates show that the decrease was equal to 2.7 billion euro for the entire 2020, “effectively cancelling the strong expansion of the two previous years”.
Beside from a few positive notes in the East (South Korea +2.6%), all countries diminished their imports (even China at -1.4%). “The segment’s balance sheet between exports and imports – notes Assopellettieri -, was 28.6% less”. Internal demand, of course, was weak throughout the year, down 24.4% due to restrictions imposed on the retail segment.
The “negative year that just ended” was then followed by an “unfavorable start to 2021. News collected from entrepreneurs until January” forecast “that the decrease during the first quarter of 2021 will be of 23.6%”. The category association now focuses on the companies’ survival capacity. There are now “about 200 less companies in the segment, compared to 2019, counting both manufacturing and artisanal operations”.
The only district to show an increment was that of Campania, with a +18 outcome. The problem is shared by workers: “8 companies out of 10 have had to use social security support during the 4th quarter – reads the note -. Within the entire leather chain more than 83 million hours were provided by state guaranteed funds (+900% compared to 2019)”.
And now comes the Mipel Digital Show
Virtual stands, Zoom meetings, business and networking. With the support of ICE and MiSE, Assopellettieri bring the strength of Mipel, the international handbag fair, online. “It wasn’t easy to be forced to say no to a live edition – commented Franco Gabbrielli, president of Mipel and Assopellettieri –. The global emergency situation though brought us to it. At the same time, it’s showing us how important it is to have live events, specifically for our sector”.
Why? “Because it allows you to understand the peculiarity and quality of the product by touching it – he says -, feeling the consistency, weight, the smell of leather, physical characteristics of the materials that are used. We are very enthusiastic of presenting and showcasing our B2B digital platform, because it represents an important effort. We are launching it with the hope that, in the future, the role of the platform will be that of accompanying the physical event in a phygital capacity, rather than substituting it”.