The fair of Riva del Garda has always had a clear international vocation, making it the event of reference for volume footwear collections and, more recently, also for those of leather goods. We interviewed two important foreign buyers to hear what they have to say about the importance of this bi-annual rendezvous for them.
Why choose Expo Riva Schuh
Adam Borzym, owner of Divino Group (Poland), confirms that one of the fundamental reasons he chose to participate in Expo Riva Schuh is because he finds Italian leather craftmanship to be second to none worldwide. “We have been collaborating for almost 12 years with several Italian leather goods companies, and the high quality of the products has made it possible to easily introduce this product with success not only onto the Polish market, but also onto those of Southern and Eastern Europe for a number of years now. Up until today, we have mainly focused on the sale of leather goods, but my presence at the next edition of Expo Riva Schuh is aimed at learning more closely about the footwear manufacturing industry, with the aim of starting up potential new collaborations also in this field”.
From his end, Mohamed Dembele, President of UCCI – Union des Commerçants de Côte d’Ivoire, from his visit to Expo Riva Schuh expects to “create closer and more stable relationships between Italy and the Ivory Coast, with the aim of promoting business by focusing on a winning partnership”. Plus, he adds: “Italy is a country that can teach us a lot about fashion, and we are very interested in creating solid business partnerships between Italian footwear and leather goods manufacturers and those in the Ivory Coast”.
Business opportunities in different international markets
Adam Borzym (Divino Group) underlines how the outbreak of coronavirus, and more recently the military threats and massive flow of refugees arising from the war in Ukraine, are factors that have undoubtedly negatively influenced the stability of productive and distributive processes in his country. Despite this, he confirms that Poland remains in the heart of Europe: “Despite the fact we are a market that still desires high quality consumer goods, we are also a sort of ‘hub’ for Eastern and Southern Europe. In fact, thanks to our strategic position on the European map, and the fact that we can count on an economic situation that is by now established, Poland today represents a market with important potential developments for Italian production, in addition to being a point of access for Eastern European markets”.
Borzym confirms that the situation of the leather goods and footwear market in Poland is even better than it was in 2019, to the extent that sales have increased in every price range. The main worries today are fundamentally connected to the increase in the costs of production. “We fear that the purchasing power of potential customers might be negatively impacted, in the long-term, by the increase in the costs of raw materials, production, and transportation. Nevertheless, I believe that good quality products, which are in line with market trends, can in any case have interesting possibilities for development: in times of crisis, people tend to buy less, but focus more on high quality products capable of lasting over time, also in terms of fashion trends”.
Mohamed Dembele, President of UCCI – Union des Commerçants de Côte d’Ivoire, likewise underlines the potential for development of a country that is growing and undergoing profound changes like the Ivory Coast: “Today, there exist many opportunities for business development in the fashion industry, but also in construction, transportation, restaurants, and hotels”.