FEATURES » Micam - Europe's largest footwear trade show

Micam - Europe's largest footwear trade show

Micam, Europe’s biggest footwear trade show in Milan has just concluded. The world-famous event is a showcase where companies meet buyers from all over the world, launch their new products, establish or consolidate business relations, and fine-tune their global marketing strategies. The world’s most important international footwear show, closed its 85th edition at Fiera Milano (Rho) with 44,227 visitors, 60% of whom came from abroad. The number of visitors from Russia was up +22%. The Ukraine follows at +7%. Within the EU, the number of German visitors grew by +9%, while France remained steady with a growth rate of +1%. The event saw a drop in the number of visitors from China and Hong Kong due to the dates coinciding with the Chinese New Year, and it also began to feel the effects of Brexit, with less visitors from the UK. Lastly, the number of Spanish visitors dropped slightly, and the number of Italian visitors was also down. The problems on the domestic market heavily penalises smaller enterprises in Italy.

This year’s edition had a new exposition area devoted for the first time to emerging designers which drew positive attention, spotlighting 12 up-and-coming brands from around the world. Another area was dedicated to combating counterfeiting, and for this reason it was entitled “Questa non è una sola” which means “This Is Not a Fake” which is a pun, because “sola” in Italian has a double meaning: shoe sole and scam. This part of the exposition was set up in the Fashion square in collaboration with Confindustria Campania and the association museum of original and fake. The counterfeiting exhibition at Micam showed people how to tell when something is fake. The counterfeit market has a strong damaging impact on the European footwear industry. Last year it lost Italy some 6 billion euros, but counterfeiting damages customers also for safety reasons, because of the uncertainty of where the raw materials come from.

As it was revealed by Tommaso Cancellara, Micam CEO and director of the Italian Footwear Association, Italian shoes represent 50 percent of the entire production of luxury footwear. In 2017, export rose by 3.3 percent. The shoe market is performing better than in the years preceding the financial crisis. However, the biggest problem for Italian shoes is Italy, because the Italian market is flat. The economy is improving, but Italians have still not increased their consumption. 

The U.S. is the export market for most Italian industries, from automotive to furniture but not for Footwear. Export quantities rose by 5 percent last year, so this could be a sign of both Italian expansion and U.S. demand. 

Italy’s biggest market is still Europe: this is where seven out of 10 Italian shoes are exported. Switzerland and France are the top of the ranking. They’re the two markets in the world for Italian shoes. On the contrary, the Japanese market is decreasing because Europe is currently negotiating a free-trade agreement.

Giulia Lombardo

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