Fascinating and demanding. But expensive and sensible to price. These are just some of the peculiarities of the US marketplace, according to Salina Ferretti, CEO of Falc and vice-president of Assocalzaturifici: “It’s the only one where the heels are still on high demand”. Ferretti (in photo at Micam), leads the footwear plant in Civitanova Marche, where 6 brands are made between children and adults’ shoes (Naturino, Falcotto, Voile Blanche, Just Say Wizz, Flower Mountain and Candice Cooper). Falc employs 200 people and generated 15% of its revenue in the USA, where it has a local HQ.
Fascinating but expensive
Companies exposed to the Russian market are looking for alternatives. The USA is very desired…
It’s true: we are talking about a lively market less hit by European turbulence. But it’s a difficult one to approach.
Because it’s demanding and expensive, sensible to price, where many large groups and department stores are. Moreover, local brands dominate the US market and work exclusively with local distributors. A foreign company has to entrust its operations to one of them and clients refuse any form of anticipated payment. But it’s also the only market where heels are still in demand: there are many events and red carpets. But this is only an advantage if your brand is known.
How does Falc operate in the US?
We mostly export children’s shoes, a segment in which our brands are leaders. But the Voile Blanche and Flower Mountain brands are appreciated too, even if the States have large sneakers’ brands.
Are the USA an alternative market to Russia?
It’s not exactly the ideal destination for somebody that isn’t already there and is looking for a quick alternative to Russia. Canada may be better, as there are less players. It’s better to focus on closer and most easily reachable markets, such as European ones. It’s a particular moment during which, I think, we mustn’t look for things that are too difficult.
What future does the Marche region have after the crisis caused by the Russian invasion?
The Marche district, like the entire region, has the need to become more attractive in order not to lose competitivity in favor of the South which, within the footwear segment, also has fiscal advantages.