Not a lot was expected from Obuv and this past edition lived up to this expectation: 114 Made in Italy exhibitors met up with their Russian and CIS customers coming from Belarus, Armenia, and Kazakhstan… continuing to preside over a market that is still fundamentally led by Made in Italy, but with quantities that are quite inferior to those of the past. Despite the great efforts made by Assocalzaturifici and the ICE Agency in promoting business, while also organising an incoming delegation of 35 buyers coming from the furthest reaches of the Russian Federation, the same problems connected to the complexity of the Russian market persisted, among economic uncertainties and stagnation in the domestic market.
This is what the protagonists of the event had to say about it: “Obuv confirms the results of the last few editions and presents the image of a Russia that is alarmed about the issue of mandatory marking, higher costs, etc.… – declares Massimo Sarti sales director of Baldinini – There are no new businesses or entrepreneurs looking to enter this market and we always work with the same customers. Additionally, the shoe for which we are known, slender with a heel, is no longer fashionable: everyone wants sneakers. In light of all this, I am not disappointed, but rather partially satisfied, because unfortunately they are the same problems as always”.
“We confirm the business done was on the same level of what we did this past summer – comments Gionata Funari, sales director of Giovanni Fabiani – We saw clientele in great difficulty for the new laws concerning the QR code, which as of March, will make product traceability obligatory, while also increasing duties to 30% on goods being imported into the country. This further increase in customs tariffs will create even greater difficulty for Made in Italy, which with its high prices risks no longer being able to maintain a position in this market”. Eugenio Scheggia, owner of Mario Bruni, confirms: “Customers are buying less, they have problems on their market with the issue of microchips, and the tariffs of 30%… this system represents a big problem above all for small producers who risk being completely wiped out by it. For this reason, the latest editions of Obuv in which we participated were nothing to get excited about it. The market is at a standstill and there are t
oo many uncertainties”. “Although Russia is not a leading market for Calzaturificio Brunate, – declares its owner Sara Galli – we met up with positive feedback and we represent an exception to the trends currently being followed by many other businesses. Having said this, Russia is a market that is changing and it’s difficult to understand what direction it will take: customers’ tastes are changing, with greater attention to prices… honestly, I won’t deny it’s a market that causes us some alarm”.  
The next edition of Obuv will be held from 17 to 20 March 2020, at the Moscow Expocentre.