Italy’s footwear in 2018: production of shoes reaches 184.3 million pairs (-3.3%)

Production has been decreasing. Likewise, companies and employees have been declining in number. Value has been going up. Such is the footwear business trend throughout 2018, still running alike in the first six months of 2019. Assocalzaturifici, which held their annual assembly in Milan, on June 26, supplied some data about the economic situation of Italian footwear.

2018 financial statements

At the end of the year, production proved to be dropping by 3.3%, while reaching 184.3 million pairs of shoes (over 6.3 million shoes less, compared to 2017). Quantities of exported shoes decreased by 3.7%, whereas volumes of shoes sold in Italy dropped by 0.5%. As a direct consequence, companies have been declining in number (there were 4,505 of them on 31 December 2018, that is, -4.3% compared to 2017); as well employees, whose number went down to 75,680, that is, -1.2%. In contrast to such trend, value has been going up: production increased by 0.8%, while exports grew by 4.2%, therefore reaching breaking-record ever 9.6 billion euros.

2019 first quarter

Unfortunately, such trend has been going on that way in the early months of 2019. In fact, at the end of 2019 first quarter, companies recorded a downturn, for the umpteenth time, in the manufacturing of shoes (-2.6%), as much as in their exports (-1.2%). Value has been increasing, as it did in 2018: production has gone up by 0.3%, while exports rose by 6.1%.

Fewer companies, fewer employees

Businesses and workers keep decreasing remarkably: as regards shoe factories, in the first 3 months of 2019, 75 companies shut down and 426 employees, both in industry and craftsmanship, lost their job; likewise, such negative trend hit spare components manufacturers as well (-41 companies and -111 employees). Overall, including both shoe factories and components manufacturers, in the first quarter of 2019: –116 businesses and –537 employees.


Assocalzaturifici spotlighted, in their analysis, the good performance carried out by France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Spain. Bad news from Germany, while sales in Russia slumped again: -21.3% in terms of volumes. Domestic market keeps slowing down: in fact, In Italy sales dropped by 2.3% in terms of volumes and declined by 3.8% in terms of value.

In the picture, taken from Assocalzaturifici, the board of presidents of the association, appointed during the assembly, held in Milan yesterday, in office until 2023: left, Federico Bartoli, Salina Ferretti, Giovanna Ceolini, Siro Badon, Giampietro Melchiorri and Pasquale Della Pia


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