Obuv is off to a good start. This was said by the Italian exhibitors present at Expocentr in Moscow, where the accessories fair, scheduled to run until Friday, kicked off on 18 October. The euro-ruble exchange rate (favourable for Italian exports) and the absence from the market of big brands (both by choice and due to sanctions) represent two major competitive advantages for independent brands. Exhibitors want to take advantage of this. On the other hand, the difficulties regarding proceeds persist, while the uncertainties caused by the conflict are increasing.
Obuv got off to a good start
“In these early hours, some movement was seen in the aisles of the fair. It is clearly still too early to make projections and estimate how it will go over the next few days,” says Francesca Orlandi of Valentino Orlandi leather goods. “The ruble exchange rate is favourable for us Italians. Just as the absence of the big brands opens the way a bit for us. The problem is not the war itself, but the irregularity of the flow of money, which is a big obstacle to business”. Sara Galli of Brunate shoe factory is remotely connected to the booth: “The fair got off to a good start. Expectations? Honestly, given the situation, I didn’t have many. We hope that, at the end of the event, we can draw a positive balance”.
Better to be cautious
Entrepreneurs confirm in a low voice that it was a good start, also due to a bit of superstition. Some of the booths started work as soon as the halls opened. The public in particular is targeting brands that have an established presence in the Russian market and are judged to be reliable. During the first few days, the Russian buyers present do scouting, selecting the best proposals. Then, in the following days, they start purchase negotiations with the chosen companies. The central days, Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20are usually the most fruitful ones for the approximately 70 Italian companies. Uncertainties remain in the market, and especially what the general and currency situation will be when the orders received are put into production, and then during the shipping phase.