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Tough market, or great opportunity?
January 12, 2014
Due to economic stagnation and the debt crises seen in both America and Europe we have seen in recent years the footwear market slump, with the USA only recently starting to show some signs of recovery. However the demand for shoes, as a basic item for living, will never disappear.
Consumers around the world are seeking fashion – but they also need value for money and comfort. In these troubled times consumers look for durability and often at a higher price point to give them shoes that will last longer.
Brands, in an effort to be more fashionable and modern, must put increasing effort into design, hoping to fill the shelves of the retailers with their shoes. Brands must more than ever put work on R&D, colouring, style, raw materials, as well as the all important soft issues such as sustainability, health and safety, ethics and the environment. The brand must take care of supply chain and marketing. No wonder that little time is left for the manufacturing.
The former advantages of China have more recently become shortages. Labour, land and raw material costs have increased. The movement of workers from the countryside to big cities is all changing again as factories now re-locate to the upcountry locations. Vietnam and Cambodia have benefited greatly from these factors. China now looks increasingly to its own population to consume the multi-million pairs made each year.
Outsourcing not only production, but also production management, has now become key to the success of brands…