In press conference, Abicalçados announces renovation of agreement with Apex-Brasil04/06/2019
The traditional press conference of the Brazilian Footwear Industries Association (Abicalçados) at the 51st Francal, in the city of São Paulo, was marked by positive news for the Brazilian footwear sector. On the occasion of the meeting with journalists, held yesterday (June 4), the organization announced the renewal of the agreement to maintain the Brazilian Footwear program, developed in partnership with the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil).
The president of Abicalçados' Governing Board, Caetano Bianco Neto, stressed that the executive president of the organization, Heitor Klein, was absent due to noble reasons. "Our executive was coming to the fair when he needed to change course to Brasília, to sign the agreement with Apex-Brasil. It is tremendous news, filling the industry with impetus," he celebrated. According to Haroldo Ferreira, Abicalçados' executive director, R$ 30.8 million will be invested in trade and international promotion actions in the two following years. Of these, R$ 16 million come from the Agency and R$ 14 million are the counterpart provided by members of the Program. This value is invested in actions geared towards the internationalization of Brazilian footwear, focusing on the target markets of the United States, Peru, the United Kingdom, France, and China. In addition, actions will be carried out in Italy.
Welcoming the news of renewal of the agreement, Francal's president, Abdala Jamil Abdala, stressed that the information offers even more encouragement to exhibitors. "It is very important news, and we know it was not an easy job to get here," he said, highlighting the partnership between Abicalçados and Apex-Brasil.
Presenting data on footwear retail, the president of the Brazilian Footwear and Leather Goods Retailers Association (Ablac), Marcone Tavares, highlighted that the 0.5% increase in the quarter – most recent data – was not entirely bad, "given the situation of the national economy." According to him, with the expectation of the reforms, especially of the pension plan, confidence will likely resume in the market and the economy will pick up again, recovering losses still in the second half of 2019. "Our population is willing to consume. With public accounts in order and confidence restored, the industry will likely grow again soon," said Tavares, noting that "retail has never been as confident as it is now."
The leader, who is the sales director of a chain with 21 stores in the state of Sergipe, said that Brazilian consumers have changed; they are more demanding, but still willing to purchase shoes. "Nowadays we seek more than products, we seek experiences. Francal really understood this change and brought much content on the subject to the fair," Tavares mentioned.
For Abdala, once again Francal takes on the commitment of being the lever of negotiations for the second half. "Earlier, we had a meeting with retailers, and they were satisfied with the fair," he celebrated. He added that the event registered 12% more visitors than last year on the first day.
In the foreign market, the entrepreneur stressed that the rise of the dollar helps to set competitive prices, but the resumption of important markets is more important, especially in the United States. "This trade war between the United States and China made importers change their suppliers. In five months, imports of Chinese shoes to the United States decreased by more than 70%. And Brazil is an excellent supplier to take advantage of this opportunity," he said. In the four-month period, exports of Brazilian shoes to the United States increased by 37% (to USD 69.8 million), while total exports decreased by 0.1% (to USD 343.8 million).
Abdala also drew attention to the Importer Program, held during the fair. The initiative brought 38 buyers from 16 countries and is managed by Abicalçados, which accompanies the importers in business meetings on all days of the trade show. "We are improving the coming of importers. Before, they often wandered around the fair. Now, Abicalçados' staff accompanies them to meetings with exhibitors, optimizing the deals," he highlighted. The expectation is that more than 300 thousand pairs of shoes are sold through the project.
The 51st edition of Francal takes place from June 3 to 5, at Expo Center Norte, in the city of São Paulo (in the namesake state). With 350 exhibiting brands, the fair launches spring-summer products, the most important in volume of sales for Brazilian footwear.
Updated industry numbers
* From January to April, the industry exported 44.16 million pairs for USD 343.8 million, a 9.4% increase in pairs and a 0.1% decrease in dollars. The main destination of Brazilian footwear abroad are the USA (which continues to purchase more, especially due to the trade war with China, which made many importers change suppliers for fear of extra tariffs); ARGENTINA (which has been buying less since the second half of last year, due to the domestic crisis); and FRANCE (which remains stable, but imports products with lower value added, with an average price of about USD 5).
* According to IBGE [Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics], from January to April footwear production increased by 1.2% in relation to the same period of 2018. Good recovery in April, with an 8.5% increase.
* According to IBGE, from January to March footwear sales (in volume) increased by 0.5% compared to the same period last year.
* In April, according to the Brazilian Ministry of Labor and Employment, 285.6 thousand people were employed in the activity, 3.7% less than in the same period in 2018. At the end of last year, there were 271 thousand people, so there is a positive balance with the creation of 14 thousand jobs throughout this year.