Italian footwear companies saw an average sales decline of 38.4 % in the first quarter, and revenue losses added up to about $1.8 billion.
88 member companies of Assocalzaturifici, the Italian shoe industry organization, participated in a survey, conducted by Confindustria Moda, that evaluated the coronavirus impact.
About 60% of the footwear companies sampled reported a 20% to 50% drop in sales compared with the first quarter of 2019, while an additional 20% of those surveyed saw their sales shrink by more than 50%.
There was also a steep drop in orders: 46% of the firm reported that they received 20% to 50% fewer orders, while 37% saw their order portfolio cut by more than 50%. The average decrease was 46.2%.
“The lockdown has had a significant impact on the sector. Unlike the textiles industry, we are unable to convert our production lines, and so we have registered a steeper drop in sales and orders than other companies in the fashion industry,” said Assocalzaturifici Chairman Siro Badon in a statement. “We need bold structural measures by the government regulating credit, taxation and support for exports. These are the strategic resources required by companies in one of Italy’s most crucial industries”.
About 93% of shoe companies tapped into government support to help them battle the coronavirus impact. Among the key challenges cited by companies are cash shortages and cancellation of trade fairs.