Great expectations for Made in Italy in Russia and the CIS areaOn the wave of the success of the last edition, and with the steady and daily recovery of the Russian market, Obuv mir Koži gets ready to open its doors on 20 March 2018 under the best possible omens. Assocalzaturifici, the organiser of the event together with Fairsystem from BolognaFiere, expects to register more than 200 exhibitors and around 11 thousand visitors: numbers that will animate B2B interactions of the highest level. First on the agenda is Obuv, followed by Shoes from Italy Almaty and Kiev.
Even for Made in Italy (which represents 70% of the fair’s offering), the 49th edition of the Moscow-based show dedicated to high-end footwear and leather goods could prove itself to be a turning point: during the first nine months of 2017, Italian footwear in fact experienced a significant rise in export volumes to the Russian market equal to +28.3%, with a +18.4% increase in value. Moreover, although there has not yet been a clear recovery for all the republics belonging to the Russian Federation, the event at Moscow’s Expocentre remains a fixed point of reference in intercepting the most qualified buyers in the area ranging from Belarus and Ukraine all the way up to the states of Central Asia.
Opportunities for Made in Italy abound for those who know how to approach a market that has changed considerably: “Russia is showing its first signals of timid recovery, but we must be careful: we are facing a market that is completely different from the one preceding the 2014-15 crisis – warns Arturo Venanzi, councillor and coordinator of the Russian and CIS Laboratory of Assocalzaturifici – If, for the luxury product, things are going well and it is steadily progressing just like in any other mature market, everything has instead changed in the mid-level price range after the crisis,: the rouble has depreciated by 40%, many businesses have closed, and others have chosen less expensive products… So, with respect to the past, the cake has gotten smaller and the mid-range Italian product finds itself having to compete with low-cost items coming from countries like Portugal and Spain”. While Arturo Venanzi highlights the problems, Marino Fabiani, another coordinator of the Assocalzaturifici Russian and CIS Laboratory, prefers to linger on the more positive aspects: “With the stability of the rouble, the desire for Made in Italy returns. In recent times, there have been good opportunities in Russia, but also in Ukraine and Kazakhstan: the political clarity and greater economic stability have instilled a renewed sense of confidence among consumers, who have once again started buying Made in Italy. Our hope is that this trend will be reinforced… for now, the fairs organised by Assocalzaturifici in the area (editor’s note: with Obuv in the lead, followed by Shoes from Italy Almaty in Kazakhstan and Shoes from Italy Kiev in Ukraine) are an excellent vehicle for operators interested in entering these markets: the Association is doing a great job in supporting businesses by not only offering them dedicated areas at the fair, but a complete service of professional assistance, which has led to a 20% rise in the number of registrations for the event”.
The protagonists of the event will be the Fall-Winter 2018/19 collections, along with the many promotional initiatives set up in collaboration with Assocalzaturifici and the Moscow ICE Agency, including invitations extended to delegations of buyers, a lounge area and dining area set up inside the fair, and gala evenings… events that will enliven both the show itself and the post-fair activities, offering further opportunities for operators to interact with one another.
The last edition of the event, held from 24 to 27 October 2017, ended with impressive results: more than 8000 visitors, including wholesalers, agents, distributors, store chains, and boutiques came from all the regions of the Russian Federation, as well as from Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Armenia, in order to visit the stands of the 150-plus Italian exhibitors in an exhibiting area of more than 3,500 square net metres. It’s now up to the March 2018 edition to exceed these results.
Just a few days from the start of Obuv, Made in Italy gets ready to come face-to-face with two of the most interesting markets in the Russian-speaking area: Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
The first event scheduled on the calendar is Shoes from Italy Almaty. Organised by Assocalzaturifici in collaboration with the Italian Embassy’s ICE Agency, it will be held from 4 to 6 April at the prestigious Hotel Rixos in the economic capital of Kazakhstan. Last October’s edition brought 50 exhibitors together with 250 buyers from Kazakhstan and the market of Central Asia: Uzbekistan, Kirghizstan, and Tajikistan. This edition, the numbers should increase by an additional 20%, thus guaranteeing a high level of dynamism at the fair, along with business negotiations that will be of mutual benefit to exhibitors and buyers alike.
The last appointment of the season in the area is on 17 and 18 April 2018, with Shoes from Italy Kiev to be held at the Hotel Hyatt Regency in Kiev. Presented in the friendly format of a workshop, today, the event is considered the best tool for introducing small and medium-sized footwear and leather goods manufacturers from Italy into the Ukrainian market. Organised by Assocalzaturifici in collaboration with the ICE Kiev Agency, at last November’s edition, the event registered a positive turnout, with more than 140 professional operators in attendance: the expectations for the April 2018 edition is that of registering a greater number of participants, thus allowing Italian businesses to increase the number of new contacts, while reinforcing relations with pre-existing clientele.