ECONOMY

Imports damage local shoe industry

Activity in the Greek market for both women?s and men?s leather footwear saw a sharp drop in the 2009-2010 period, a recent sectoral study conducted by ICAP, which recorded a 23 percent slump in the market (in pairs) with relation to 2009, has found.

At the same time the market saw a sharp rise in leather footwear imports, as a number of local shoemakers turned to bringing in goods (mainly due to the high cost of production), to a large extent reducing and in some cases even halting manufacturing altogether. As a result, the volume of Greek production has fallen considerably.

Sales numbers for women?s leather shoes remain consistently higher than for men?s. In 2010, for instance, it is estimated that women?s footwear consumption represented about 60 percent of the overall market.

While the market is comprised of various wholesale companies (both manufacturers and importers), a number of these businesses go beyond wholesale, having developed their own retail outlets.

The ongoing financial crisis continues to affect the local men?s and women?s leather footwear sector and, as a result, the forecast for the 2011-2012 period points to a further decrease in volume, at an average annual rate of 10 to 15 percent.

In 2009, total assets for shoe manufacturing companies increased by 5.67 percent and own capital increased by 13.67 percent. Also in the same year, sales suffered a decrease of 4.97 percent, while net profits (before tax) fell by 14.75 percent.

The total assets for import companies showed a marginal decrease in 2009 compared to 2008 (0.85 percent), while own capital increased by 4.19 percent. In the same year, import sales fell by 2.17 percent and their net profits (before tax) by 37.20 percent.