Obuv: Italian footwear manufacturers provide insight into the latest editionThe latest edition of Obuv Mir Kozhi took place in Moscow from March 21st to 24th. Here is an array of impressions and comments offered up by Italian exhibitors at the fair.
The latest edition of Obuv Mir Kozhi took place in Moscow from 21 to 24 March. There were many expectations surrounding the Russian event, which saw the participation of around 150 Italian businesses.
What was the outcome? How is the Russian market doing? What are the future prospects? To these questions and more, we propose an array of impressions and comments offered up by Italian exhibitors at the fair.
After 4 seasons of difficulty, the Russian market is making its comeback and registering a good recovery. The winter gave sales a boost, helping create interest among buyers. Moreover, stability was registered for the rouble’s exchange rate, which in the past had risen to the stars, but which now has returned to acceptable levels.
In this situation, it is important to participate in fairs like Obuv, which has once again become an opportunity for approaching customers. During these two years of extreme crisis, also the behaviour of the end customer has veered towards a higher level of caution when it comes to investing in fashionable products.
The situation in Russia and in its footwear manufacturing market has stabilized. Two years of difficulty forced many businesses to close their activities. Those who managed to remain on the market are undoubtedly stronger than they were in the past.
Obuv Mir Kozhi is always an important appointment for those interested in selling in Russia, where the clientele is typically less important than the one attending theMICAM, but in any case beneficial to the booking of new orders. In general, we found a situation that was altogether positive: buyers, after the rouble’s return to stability, have greater confidence than in the past.
Our company has been present on the Russian market for more than 25 years and we have witnessed both the best of times and those characterized by the crisis. This time it seems that Russians have once again succeeded in returning as protagonists in the market, with greater optimism than in the past. This fair is important for Russia: it practically closes the season and offers the possibility to small-to-medium sized customers to discover a quality product like Made in Italy.
This edition will be archived, after two years of difficulty, as a positive one. We had good feedback both in terms of visits to the stand, as well as in the interest generated by the collections presented. Russians have once again begun purchasing Italian collections and they did it right at this fair, which has become extremely important for them, showing greater interest in the quality of the products, rather than the price.
We are facing a market that is on the path to recovery; however, these positive signals already emerged in Milan at the last edition of theMICAM. Generally speaking, the situation in Russia has already improved compared to the past and buyers are more confident than they were in the past: fears of inflation were put to rest and the rouble has stabilized. These are two important factors for the economy of this country. Obuv Mir Kozhi also confirmed its importance on the trade fair panorama, above all, for small and medium-sized businesses, thus closing the circle of orders for the season.
As Italians, we are returning as the protagonists of this market where, for the last two years, we have met up with great difficulties. With reassurances provided by the current economic trend, Russian buyers are rediscovering their desire to purchase.
Moreover, a numerous turnout was registered at this edition of the fair, which is increasingly important for those who are in search of fashion and quality products. Of course, Russians are also interested in lower priced products, but if they like the shoe and it is especially fashionable, they will buy it without protesting too much.
The season began well with many visitors already seen at theMICAM. Additionally, the especially cold winter helped facilitate purchases for the winter season. There is always a lot of curiosity and strong interest in Italian products, but we must also be careful to not overlook the importance of quality. We must avoid creating confusion with the end customer by proposing footwear that has very little of Made in Italy in it. Italian products are also sought out at this fair, which is traditionally attended by buyers coming from outside of Moscow.
The recovery of the Russian market can clearly be seen, even if we are not yet at the levels of a few years ago. Sincerely, after theMICAM, where we registered a bona fide return of Russian buyers, I was expecting higher attendance levels at this edition of Obuv Mir Kozhi, which remains, in any case, an essential appointment with mandatory participation. The reaction of Russian buyers? They have adapted to the situation of instability and uncertainty, but have fundamentally remained optimistic for the future.
We too witnessed a recovery, even if it was only slight. Probably factors like the rediscovered stability of the rouble influenced the outcome. As far as the fair is concerned, I hope that in the future it does not lose exhibitors. It’s true that it has been renewed and improved, but this may not be enough. I think it would be a good idea to form an alliance with a fair dedicated to clothing, so that the buyer could find a truly satisfying proposal. This return of Russian buyers has also highlighted another factor: those who did not renew themselves or were unaware of how to do so went down the road of definite business failure.
We have twenty years of experience in this market and have witnessed the many highs and lows, all the way up to the latest crisis of two years ago, which was very dramatic. To tell the truth, the first positive signals for the Russian market emerged at the last edition of theMICAM, even if the trends of the two fairs are different: big buyers come to Milan, while Obuv is the hub of small and medium-sized customers. The confirmation that Made in Italy has returned to first place as one of the preferred styles arrives from this edition of the Moscow fair.
It was a good edition of Obuv Mir Kozhi, where we saw many buyers coming from different regions of Russia. The positive signals of recovery could also clearly be seen: the rouble has stabilized and the winter was favourable from a climatic standpoint. This fair also confirmed its especially interesting role as far as the last purchases of the season are concerned: it is here that the circle of orders kicked off in January comes to a close.
The Russian market is decidedly important to “Made in Italy” and at this edition of the fair, we had quite positive results with regards to the interest shown by Russian buyers in our footwear. It has not been easy for this country, with many difficulties deriving above all from external factors, like the value of the rouble, and the sanctions of the EU. Now, it seems like things are going to turn out for the best. As far as the fair is concerned, we did our best to make some improvements, which were appreciated by both exhibitors and visitors.
My sensation is that in the Russian market there is a recovery, but it is much slower than it seems. At this edition of Obuv Mir Kozhi, there was an undoubtedly good turnout in visitors coming from many regions of the country, but we did not met up with great enthusiasm. In any case, it is always important to exhibit at this fair, if one is interested in the Russian market. The restyling of the show was also skilfully executed with an excellent final result.
The Russian market is recovering, but the signals of this already emerged at theMICAM. Compared to last winter, the situation is much more interesting and the possibilities are good. In this season, buyers are looking for footwear that is soft and comfortable, with the right fit.
As far as Obuv Mir Kozhi is concerned, it reconfirmed its role as a fair dedicated to small and medium-sized Russian buyers, who attend it with great interest. For this reason, those interested in selling in Russia, must participate.