Obuv, below forecastsFour days of medium-fine and luxury footwear in Moscow did not completely satisfy the forecasts made on the eve of the event, with a drop-off in attendance numbers and great attentiveness to prices by buyers.
A slowdown characterised the 49th edition of Obuv Mir Koži, organised by Assocalzaturifici in partnership with the BolognaFiere Fairsystem from 20 to 23 March at the Moscow Expocentre. The partial recovery of Made in Italy footwear in Russia and CIS, which had created a cautious feeling of optimism among operators on the eve of the event, did not translate into a significant increase in turnout or orders booked at the fair. On the contrary, there were fewer Russian buyers in attendance with a preference for lower prices. In fact, out of the 150 Italian exhibitors at the fair, those who outsource one or more of their production phases with the intent of keeping their prices low were rewarded. A practice criticised by Assocalzaturifici and by those who have invested in offering a 100% Italian-made product, which has more or less contributed to the creation of two distinct Made in Italy segments. Instead, things went better for the forty leather goods businesses present in Moscow, with much more rewarding results for them, but with the same attentiveness to prices by buyers.
There were other factors, however, contributing to the less than satisfactory performance of this edition, and they were all external to Obuv’s offering: from the rouble’s exchange rate, to the obligation of the elections, ending with the more than burdensome tax regime and constant changes to customs regulations that foment confusion and the fear of having goods seized in customs.
As far as the event’s contents are concerned, alongside the central Made in Italy offering that represents around 70% of the selection, were exhibitors coming from 12 other countries, including Belarus, France, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Thailand, and UK. Moreover, there was a rich programme of seminars and meetings, including the presentation of the season’s fashion trends staged by Trendsquire.
The next edition of Obuv will be held from 22 to 25 October 2018 once again at Moscow’s Expocentre.