The climate of uncertainty triggered off by the pandemic will continue to influence the global economy for all of 2020. The Italian tanning industry, which because of the global healthcare emergency lost -32% of its seasonal revenue and -24% in production volume, is not exempt from this situation. The question we accordingly ask is how is it possible to return to pre-crisis volumes? Even if it is not possible to imagine a definite answer in this confused context, the recommendation of Gianni Russo, President of UNIC- National Union of the Tanning Industry, to his fellow members is to focus on reactivity and the requalification of services and the product.

In other words, he asks Italian tanneries to undertake an “increasingly qualified upgrading, which respects the timing of production and deliveries that are increasingly tight, requiring the development of impeccable services, with quicker response times and greater attentiveness to the demands of clientele”. This upgrading will also have to include sustainability, promoting “constant improvements of everything that is green: alternative tanning processes, environmental protection and all this is needed to ensure the tannery is a fully qualified example of green economy”. Finally, investments in stylistic research will be needed to reply to the market’s desire for new products in reaction to the crisis. In other words, a virtuous reversal of the current situation must be triggered off, where “Italian research and creativity represent a driving force and a great signal of encouragement”.  

Where does this horizon of recovery lie? UNIC predicts there will be a need to wait until the second half of 2021 for a structural recovery, when consumer trends go back to normal and tourists once again start traveling. In the meantime, however, China is starting to see positive signals of the phenomenon of revenge-shopping that is focused on designer label products. There are then interesting opportunities that have been opened up by online sales that are becoming the driving force of the sector.