Riva del Garda’s return to normality: 8,610 buyers at the fair

Riva del Garda's return to normality: 8,610 buyers at the fair

A gradual return to normality. This is the summary of Expo Riva Schuh 98 and Gardabags 9, which closed on Tuesday (17 January 2023) at Riva del Garda. The numbers released by the organisers speak of 8,610 attendees, from over 100 countries. There was a 5% increase in non-continental visitors out of the total number of visitors. Particularly noteworthy was the growth from Latin America, South East Asia and North America. The influx of buyers from Israel was surprising, while the number of Italian visitors was also on the rise.

A gradual return to normality

Expo Riva Schuh is gradually regaining its international appeal. According to the operators, it is still not back to the levels of 2019, but it was certainly a much better edition than those held in the last two years. “Next June (from 17 to 20, ed.) we could return to pre-pandemic levels,” says Paolo Bove, owner of the homonymous Lucca-based company. “We have seen a return of US and French buyers in particular. While the Greeks were missing. German buyers were there, but not as numerous as in the best editions. Business? Good even if they were affected by both economic uncertainty and sales that were a bit sluggish due to the weather. Uncertainties that are now becoming frequent with companies gearing up and trying to buy wisely”.

The balance

“The balance of this edition of Expo Riva Schuh? Discreet. I would give it a 7 and a half,” says Elisa Bolzoni of Bolzoni Shoes from Castell’Arquato (Piacenza), managed by her father Enrico and owner of the brand Nakoa (in Hawaiian it means warrior). “Little by little the fair is regaining its shape and size. We hope that this trend will continue in future editions. Is there a return to the formal in fashion? We have not noticed this trend. The demand has remained more or less the same as last season, with fashionable articles and products”.

The issue of price

The central issue is the price. It should be a little higher to guarantee producers and retailers the same marginality as last seasons. But this clashes with the reduced spending power of consumers struggling with the rising cost of living. With this situation, shoez.biz reports, German buyers prefer to rely on reliable suppliers rather than experiment with new and interesting brands. In other words: there is less inclination to dare, even in terms of style.

Sourcing: an advantage for Expo Riva Schuh

“The long shutdown of Chinese and Asian production and logistical difficulties are being normalised. But what happened with the pandemic has prompted buyers to diversify their sourcing efforts. And Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags is the ideal platform to get in touch with a wide range of suppliers,” points out GianPaola Pedretti, exhibition manager for the event.

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