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United State on the radar of Brazilian footwear

Footwear exports to the United States have been increasing this year. Between January and July, according to data prepared by the Brazilian Footwear Industries Association (Abicalçados), over 7 million pairs were shipped to that market, generating almost USD 120 million, a 33.3% increase in volume and a 40% increase in revenues in comparison with the same period last year. The good figures boosted the participation of 13 Brazilian brands in the most recent edition of FN Platform, largest footwear fair in North America that took place from August 12 to 14, in Las Vegas. The initiative was supported by the Brazilian Footwear, footwear exports promotion program developed by Abicalçados in partnership with the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil).

 

Abicalçados’ Trade Promotion analyst Ruisa Scheffel accompanied the participation and highlights that the brands were satisfied with the deals that were closed and that began to be negotiated during the event, in addition to the contacts that will likely reflect on sales until the end of 2019. According to the report prepared by the organization, over 100 thousand pairs were sold during the three days of the event, 25% more than in last year’s edition. The revenue generated on the spot reached over USD 750 thousand. For upcoming months, the equivalent to more USD 1.87 million will likely be sold in negotiated deals, totaling over USD 2.6 million in deals generated from the participation.

 

Carrano’s representative in the United States, Nilsara Piereck highlights that the fair was very important, especially due to the attraction of new customers. According to her, the amount of deals increased due to the trade war between the United States and China, which made local importers seek alternatives to Chinese shoes due to fear of the increase in import tariffs. On August 13, therefore during the trade show, the United States Trade Representative announced the final list of products imported from China that will receive an additional 10% tariff, with some types of shoes among them – their tariff will increase from 17% to 27%.

 

According to Piereck, U.S. footwear importers are greatly concerned with the increased prices of Asian products due to the new tariffs. “The market trend, which is dependent on imports, is to adjust, seeking products from suppliers outside China, creating opportunities for Brazilian shoes, especially those made of leather,” the representative assesses.

 

Preparation

Pegada was also satisfied with the results of FN Platform. The company participated in the event for the second time. “In our first participation, we were not as prepared as we are now, when the amount of visitors was good and we established contacts with new buyers,” says the company’s sales representative in North America, Alex Engelmann. According to him, the U.S. market is very competitive – major global brands are there. It requires persistent work and strategy to escape the “harassment for private label (products with the customer’s brand).” “Brazilian footwear is well positioned and shows great potential, especially now due to the trade war between the United States and China,” he mentions. Present in over 60 countries, Pegada has created its own distribution channel to the United States and Canada, which will likely positively influence sales.

 

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Suzana Santos returned to the U.S. fair after a two-year hiatus. The company’s export manager, Suzana Santos, highlights that the fair was positive, with many visitors. “Customers told us it was the best edition in recent years,” says Santos, highlighting that the company is seeking a distribution partner for its shoes in the United States. “An important distributor is interested, and we will likely establish this partnership soon”, the manager celebrates, stressing that the brand already works with customers in that country but it is seeking a partner for greater penetration.

 

The brands Ipanema, Zaxy, Carrano, Vicenza, Kidy, Magia Teen, Petite Jolie, Ala, Zatz, Pegada, Offline, Suzana Santos, and Renata Mello participated in FN Platform with the support of the Brazilian Footwear.