Covid-19 will have extremely heavy repercussions for the 2020 global footwear industry: this is the opinion of the international panel of sector experts who were interviewed in March by World Footwear, which predicts a 22.5% drop-off in global footwear consumption. A percentage, which when it is translated into volumes, becomes 4 billion fewer pairs of shoes sold worldwide. If this prediction were to come true, there would be a drop in North America of 696 million pairs, a drop in Europe of 908 million pairs, and a loss of 2.4 billion pairs in Asia.
Perspectives are negative everywhere, but especially so in Europe. In addition to the drop in quantities, a drop in average price is also expected. The worsening economic conditions and restrictions with which companies must comply in order to contrast the Covid-19 pandemic also explain why at the top of the list of concerns are included an insufficient global demand, insufficient domestic demand, and financial difficulties. Global competition, which was the number one on the list in 2019, instead falls back to seventh position.
As far as footwear type is concerned, classic leather footwear, including especially men’s, continues to drop-off in the 2020 forecasts, while sneakers and other athletic footwear expect to see a growth trend. In any case, the gap between the two categories has been significantly reduced compared to the last edition of the World Footwear survey.
There is then one last thought for production. Most of those interviewed believe that the global healthcare crisis will also push towards a new kind of production model, with companies outsourcing their production to different countries worldwide, so as to minimize the risks of interrupting the supply chain, while others will instead prefer to bring production closer to the consumer markets of reference.