Footwear sector will only return to pre-covid levels in 2023 – Economy

According to the latest edition of the ‘Business Conditions Survey’, carried out in March with 141 professionals in the sector, from more than 42 countries, “only in 2023 the sector should return to normality”, after the break resulting from the pandemic crisis.

The evolution of footwear consumption expected for this year will be “insufficient to mitigate the strong impact of the sector” in the last year, and, by geographic area, it will predictably increase 5.8% in South America, 3.8% in South America North only 2% in Africa and Europe. In Asia, consumption growth will be on the global average (2.8%).

The survey’s findings show that “the majority of respondents believe that, in the next six months, the volume of commercialized shoes will increase”, an optimistic evolution compared to previous perspectives.

Among the experts surveyed, more than half expect footwear prices to stabilize and almost a third expect them to increase this year.

The “major concern of the sector” is, currently, “insufficient demand”, both in the domestic market (50% of the answers), and in the international markets (mentioned by 48% of the respondents).

Also pointed out is the increase in the cost of raw materials (41%), with 44% of respondents still anticipating financial difficulties in the coming months.

By product segments, sports shoes are expected to continue to generate more demand (77% of specialists foresee that they may grow), as opposed to more classic models, either in the female segment (only 16% predicts that it can grow), as male (59 % even points to retreat).

From the business point of view, it will be the ‘online’ channels that will continue to lead the marketing process: Around 80% of world experts believe that ‘online’ sales will increase over the next three years.

On the contrary, own stores and multi-brand stores are expected to lose relative weight, with 45% and 19% of respondents, respectively, believing that they will reduce their relevance in the next three years.

In a comment on these new data, the president of the Portuguese Association of Footwear, Components, Leather Goods and Substitute Manufacturers (APICCAPS) considers that “they give some encouragement”, but they are also “a clear indicator that the recovery will be slower” than desired.

Cited in a statement, Luís Onofre also considers that “the conclusions of this study reinforce the strategic success of several options in the footwear sector: the search for new markets, the bet on sustainable products and the appreciation of Portuguese products, namely in the ‘online’ channels ”.

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