Organisation of the world’s most important footwear show is proceeding. MICAM survey: 80% of footwear makers have suffered directly from the impact of the emergency, but the industry is determined to start again. 75% of the Italian and international companies surveyed see the trade fair as a key to relaunching the industrY.

The desire to start again, aware that recovery will be a complex, gradual process, with a focus on MICAM, scheduled for September 20 through 23 at Fiera Milano Rho, as an important opportunity to get the industry going again. This is the feeling among footwear companies and buyers surveyed by the International Footwear Show to find out what the sector needs at this crucial time.“MICAM is essential for supporting a crucial sector of the Italian economy,” says Assocalzaturifici and MICAM Chairman Siro Badon. “The world’s biggest footwear trade fair supports connections between manufacturers and buyers. While alternative opportunities for maintaining business relations have been developed over the past few months, meeting at the trade fair still represents the most important opportunity for growth on the market and a privileged way of negotiating orders. Our companies have adapted right away with health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of contagion, and the same methods may be applied to guarantee safety at the trade fair. We absolutely need to offer our member companies some certainty at a time when they are suffering from the economic repercussions of the emergency. Without hope on the horizon, they feel like they are in a tunnel with no way out. Confirming MICAM is the best response to the current doubts on the market”.

“At a time of great uncertainty in our industry due to the global medical emergency, we have asked footwear companies and buyers what they need and we are ready to help them get started again,” says Tommaso Cancellara, MICAM CEO and Assocalzaturifici General Manager. “This is why the next MICAM will be particularly important, drawing on a new awareness and additional suggestions inspired by dialogue with Italian and international companies. Operations are already under way to prepare for the September edition, which will be a very important event for everyone, re-establishing bonds with the market and creating new opportunities in perfect safety. We’re negotiating and defining a commercial agreement with one of the world’s key players in digital services, to offer all MICAM exhibitors a new b2b digital sales channel. We will be unveiling the details in the weeks to come”.

The traditional MICAM survey aimed at understanding the market and offering targeted services for exhibitors at the next edition has taken on particular importance as a key tool for dialogue with the industry during the medical emergency. The image of the footwear industry that emerges from the survey is one of a sector that is highly sensitive to international trends but not new to battles against local or global crises, and is once again ready to get back to work and respond to new business opportunities.

The difficulties of the current situation are clearly illustrated in the interviewees’ statements. Almost all respondents (over 80%) report that they have suffered directly as a result of the current emergency, and more than 90% of them have seen their order portfolio reduced, paralysing production for more than 60% of companies and effectively making it impossible to show the new collections to potential buyers. But this dark picture has not stopped Italy’s footwear manufacturers, who are ready to get going again and win back the market share they have lost in recent months. 48% of them believe things will start looking up in September, while the other 52% expect sales to recover within the year.

Along with the difficulties, however, there are also plenty of drivers of change, necessarily involving use of digital tools at the present time to boost sales and respond to the near-total global lockdown.

While the majority of companies (more than 60%) is oriented toward sending buyers pictures of their collections by e-mail, 39% already had digital tools at their disposal (such as internet sites), while 31% used social networks to reach customers and 15% have introduced new platforms for their businesses or used other digital tools during the crisis. MICAM is working in this direction, aiming to offer exhibitors a new distribution channel in September thanks to the partnership with one of the world’s most important platforms for digital services.

In this complicated context, participation in MICAM is seen as essential by both Italian and international footwear companies in order to give concrete form to the new start of business: about 75% of interviewees reported they were certain or likely to be participating in the September event.

Some are requesting logistical and financial assistance for participation in the event, but most respondents emphasise the need for actions aimed at guaranteeing health and safety and the fact that the success of the trade fair depends on the buyers who attend. And it is precisely in order to welcome buyers in the best possible way and offer incentives for them to attend that MICAM – in partnership with Fiera Milano – is working on a protocol containing measures guaranteeing the utmost safety for exhibitors and visitors, in line with the new standards that will apply to business meetings from now on.

MICAM at Fiera Milano Rho September 20 through 23, 2020
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