Portugal’s footwear market set for bonanza year as orders forecast to increase 9.2%

 In Exports, Footwear, News

Shoe sales and related accessories are set for a bonanza year according to the Portuguese Association of Footwear, Leather Articles and Substitutes (APICCAPS).

The association cites the World Footwear Study that estimates that footwear consumption should increase 13.2% on average in Africa, 10.6% in Asia, and 6.4% in South America.
In the US and Canada, and Europe – the two most important benchmark markets for the Portuguese footwear industry, growth will be less extensive, with 5.3% and 1.4% respectively on 2023.
Although exports from Portugal fell 5.1% in 2023 compared to 2022 to €2.222Bn, the sector that focuses on components for footwear saw sales increase by 13.6%, exporting €73 million.
Leather goods articles also enjoyed a recovery in 2023 by 14% to €310 million, while footwear exports fell 11.3% in orders and 8.2% in value compared to a record year in 2022 with €66 million pairs of shoes being sold worth €1.839Bn.
“We have been seeing a consolidation of clusters within the Portuguese footwear and leather goods industry in Portugal” says AIPICCAPS spokesperson Paulo Gonçalves to Jornal Económico, emphasising that by the end of the decade the sector’s strategy plan expects an investment of €600 million in innovation, sustainability, training of both companies – their management and employees, and internationalisation.
In terms of markets, the association points out a growth in sales of footwear components to Germany (+4.7%) to €16.5 million, to France (+43%) to €16 million, whereas the Spanish market for Portugal was down by €19% to €6 million.
According to the World Footwear Survey, the main factors driving this growth are “economic and demographic trends”, with African countries, which have the highest birth rates in the world, such as Niger and Angola, contributing “decisively to the growing demand for footwear”.
By the same token, Asian countries too have seen a relevant uptick in footwear demand with sales estimated in India to increase by 6.3% and Bangladesh by 6%, since both countries posted high GDP rates in 2023, fuelling high demand.
Europe, on the other hand is seeing less demand for footwear, with a lacklustre growth forecast of just 1.4% this year.
According to a communiqué from the APICCAPS, historically “Portugal’s footwear sector exports just over 90% of its production so its performance has always depended on the economic state of its main international markets”.
The APICCAPS says that after a very tough for Portuguese footwear manufacturers in 2023, it hopes that 2024 will see some recovery, particularly in Portugal’s key markets of France, Germany and the US.