CRV has hit Portugal’s footwear industry after it had already showed signs of crisis. Portugal is one of the main production centres for Europe’s footwear segment: the Coronavirus epidemic will add to the general market slowdown.
In a note sent to the members of APICCAPS, the association has suggested companies in the industry, that have chosen to shut down activities, to make employees take their vacation days now (10 days), to ease the effects of the Coronavirus on the segment. This also because, writes the association, “without healthy workers it will be impossible to restart production once the epidemic is behind it”. The footwear entrepreneurs contacted by magazine Felgueiras Magazine, state that many orders will need to be delayed due to the lack of raw material.
Three cases presented themselves before the explosion of CRV cases. Last December, Helsar, company based in São João da Madeira, shut down and fired 58 employees. S highlighted by Dinheirovivo, Helsar filed for bankruptcy. It used to produce 200 pairs of shoes per day for brands such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Jimmy Choo. The Alberto Sousa shoe factory, based in Vizela, fired 150 workers. According to what reported by Observador, the company Eureka had already decided to close 13 stores in Portugal. The brand had been active for 34 years. The two managers, Alberto e Filipe Sousa, together with the legal representatives, stated that the reason for the shutdown was “economical”. The most recent case is that of Luís Jesus Correia, located in Santa Maria da Feira, which fired 20 employees on February 27th. A choice that, also due to its unforeseen nature, wasn’t taken well by labor unions involved.
Picture from inside Portugal’s footwear factories (La Conceria)