Micam 88 is here: Italian footwear ponders on the future

Edizione numero 88 di Micam

Micam has arrived at its 88th edition and reaches 50 years of activity. The event will take place at Fieramilano Rho from Sunday 15th of September to the 18th. The event was presented yesterday in Milan. Many new activities, and even more expectations from the market for the 1.303 exhibitors (695 from Italy and 608 from international countries). Today, we must write an introductory piece, to explain what is happening to Italian footwear under a manufacturing and commercial viewpoint.

Today and tomorrow

Italian footwear continued to follow the 2018 trend during the first half of the current year. Production levels and number of companies/employees decreasing. Export maintained its positive performance thanks to third-party manufacturing for luxury brands. Home consumption continues to decrease. The only type of footwear selling is sneakers, and they are sold online, for the most part. Assocalzaturifici’s analysis for the second semester, presented by the newly elected president Siro Badon, don’t show an inversion of the trend, but they do show a softening of the negative aspects that impact smaller entities even more. “There is little hope that there will be a significant improvement of the situation. Thus, as confirmed by the number of orders received by businesses for the second semester of 2019, the general trend is extremely flat”.

Production and labor

Continuing with the -3.3% trend of 2018, the quantity of footwear produced between January and June of the current year decreased by 2.3%. A percentage that, even if negative, should slightly improve in the second semester. The consequences of this decrement consist in the shutdown of 119 footwear manufacturing plants and 75 accessories’ makers, for a total of 194 companies shutting down operation. The numbers signify a -2.6% in the number of footwear manufacturers in June 2019, in comparison to December 2018. And sadly, but of course, there is also a loss of jobs: -492 employees in comparison to December 2018 (0,7%) with additional personnel lost by components’ makers that bring the total to -985.

Export and Contract Manufacturing

Italian production was mainly focused on owned brands just a few years ago. Now it is done for other brands, such as: luxury brands. Thanks to this migration, Switzerland and France, in order, have become the two top exporters of Italian footwear, a transition that also took place due to Germany’s stability and the constant negative performance of Russia (-15,7%). Good performances for the USA, China and Hong Kong.

Italian consumption

After an unsatisfactory third quarter, also due to soft climatic conditions during the winter months, spring didn’t bring any recovery sign for Italy’s market. The Fashion Consumer Panel of Sita Ricerca has registered a 3.7% volume decrement in the average expenditure of Italian families, and a 3.2% decrease in value. The only positive values arrive from the sale of  to “sneakers/sport shoes” (+0.8% in quantity and +2.9% in value), along with the weight of digital sales, which now accounts for 11% of the total purchases made in the semester.


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