Negative trends brought about by the pandemic were reconfirmed and highlighted in the survey conducted by Assocalzaturific a few weeks ago with its members during the total lockdown. The data collected and analysed by the Research Centre of Confindustria Moda speaks clearly: in March, exports dropped by -33.7% in quantity and -30% in value, while in terms of domestic consumption, sales during the first four months of 2020 were down by -29.7% in volume and -33.7% in the amount spent.

“During the first quarter, companies in fact recorded an average drop-off in revenue equal to -38.4%, with an overall loss for the industry estimated at 1.7 billion euros – underlines Siro Badon, President of Assocalzaturifici – Additionally, the temporary unemployment compensation in the two-month period of April-May rose by +2437%, with 31.5 million authorised hours, compared to the 1.2 million hours recorded during the same period in 2019. So, in just two months, almost four times the number of total hours registered for all of last year was recorded. A situation made critical by the combined negative factor of not being able to work at all during the emergency and the demand of families, which was extensively penalised by the interruption of physical sales in March and April, joined by the tendency of clientele to be extremely cautious in their purchases”.

Consumption by families

During the first quarter, the amount spent on all footwear categories was at around 30%, with less spent on slippers and leisure (-17%). On average prices dropped by -5.7%.


During the first quarter, 52.7 million pairs were exported, which was 9 million fewer pairs than the same period in 2019. Within the European Union, exports were down by -12.6% in volume and -8.2% in value, while the results for non-EU destinations were even worse: -18.2% in quantity and -10.1% in value.


All the markets fell, and among the first 15 destinations, only Poland grew in volume. South Korea instead recorded a +17.2% rise in value, while limiting the loss in quantity to only -2.7%. Germany, which was already negative in 2019, lost -6.1% in number of pairs and -3.3% in value. Significant drops were recorded in exports to China and Hong Kong (-23% in quantity for both); with similar results for the pairs destined for the CIS area (-23.4%). Negative results were also recorded for the USA (-15.2%), while there was a drop of more than 20% in the quantities destined for Switzerland and France, which are in the top two positions in terms of value.

Trade Balance

Although it remains positive at 1 billion euros, during the first three months it fell by -15%.

Export forecasts

The belief is that this trend is destined to get worse, with the Istat monthly index for industrial footwear production recording -89.3% in April, after the -55.2% registered in March.