Shoe companies from Brazil participating in the March edition of GDS/GLS – the International Event for Shoes, Leather Goods and More, in Germany, closed US$ 5 million in deals during the fair. Deals of around US$ 13.9 million were also confirmed for the next 12 months. The study was made by the Brazilian Association of Shoe Manufacturers (Abicalçados).
Approximately 1,000 commercial contacts were made with buyers from five continents. The exhibition, which ended last Sunday, March 11,in Düsseldorf, counted on the presence of 23 industries from Brazil, supported by the Abicalçados through the Brazilian Footwear project, in partnership with the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex).
The Brazilian companies who participated in the fair were Picadilly, Miezko, Anatomic Gel, Beira Rio, Vizzano, Bottero/Madeira Brasil, Pegada, Ramarim, Nicolla Mezzi, Dakota, Ferrucci, Betarello, Kidy, Kiuty, Sapatoterapia and Werner, as well as Brazon – The Association of Shoe and Accessory Makers from the city of Birigüi, in the interior of the southeastern Brazilian city of São Paulo, which represents various industries in the hub.
Companies that had their own stands were Azaléia, Bical, Via Uno, Grendene, GVD, Pé com Pé and Studio Tmls.
Last year, Brazilian shoe producers exported higher added value products. The average price of Brazilian shoes shipped abroad rose from US$ 9.98, between January and November 2005, to US$ 10.32 during the same months in 2006.
Shoe factories' efforts at selling higher quality produce were praised by the Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan. "The shoe sector achieved amazing improvements in quality, design and (brand) positioning over the last four years," the minister said.
Entering more demanding, sophisticated niches was the solution found by shoe producers in order to overcome the problems created by the Brazilian exchange rate, which is unfavorable to exports.
According to the executive director at Abicalçado (Brazilian Association of Shoe Manufacturers), Heitor Klein, the increase in average shoe price was partly due to readjustment to the exchange rate, and partly due to the higher quality of exported products.
"In order to keep growing, many Brazilian companies have decided to add value to exported products, to approach sales in a more direct manner, and to export using their own brands," said the executive director.
Improved design and higher quality raw materials are features of these shoes, which are currently exported in larger quantities.