Grendene, the greatest shoe manufacturer in Brazil, plans on exporting to another two Arab countries, Algeria and Libya. The information was disclosed by the company Investor Relations manager, Doris Wilhelm.
The company has traded in the Arab market for seven years, selling to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, Lebanon, Bahrain, Egypt and Oman. According to Doris, the Arab market is attractive and “has a good growth potential”.
The first contacts with the Arabs were made during trade fairs in Brazil and abroad. The company participates in many events in the shoe sector in Europe and the United States.
The products that are most successful with the Arabs are the flip-flops of the Rider line and sandals of the Grendha line.
In 2004 the company exports total led about 20% of production – of 145.3 million pairs – and 15% of their gross revenue, US$ 638 million. In this period, sales to the Arab countries represented 1.04% of the export volume and 1.10% of revenues.
The expansion of the Arab market is part of the company growth strategy, which according to Doris, plans on increasing exports significantly this year. However, the company doesn’t disclose its growth aims since it is an open capital company, with shares negotiated on the São Paulo Stock Exchange.
To conquer new clients, the company takes part in fairs, such as Couromoda and Francal, in Brazil, Exporiva and Micam, in Italy, Ispo Winter and GDS in Germany, WSA and FFNY, in the United States.
However, they still have not participated in events in Arab countries. “We have made some studies, but we haven’t participated. The majority of clients in the region visit the fairs in Europe,” states Doris.
From Farroupilha to the World
The history of Grendene began as a small plastic packaging company in Farroupilha, in the interior of the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.
Little by little, the company founders, Alexandre and Pedro Grendene Bartelle transformed the factory into one of the largest producers of synthetic shoes in the world.
The company has 21% of the market share in Brazil and is responsible for 14% of the Brazilian shoe export volume. They currently have five production units, in Sobral, Fortaleza and Crato, in the northeastern Brazilian state of Ceará, and in Carlos Barbosa and Farroupilha, in Rio Grande do Sul. The group currently employs 23,000 people and has an installed production capacity of 176 million pairs of shoes a year.
Among the main Grendene brands are Rider, Grendha, Melissa, Ipanema and Grendene Kids. The company sells to a varied public, of all ages and social classes. They sell to around 85 countries.
Anba – www.anba.com.br
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