News Briefs & Short Stops
Clarks will be selling its product range for children online for
the first time from May this year. The company’s online business is huge. The news caused quite a stir in the international shoe industry and during the GDS show held in Düsseldorf last month.
Padders recently invested in its e-commerce site and managed to increase internet sales by 55% in 2011 compared with the previous year. The website has been restructured from a mail-order based system to an electronic and web-based system. Padders recorded a growth in sales of about 7% in terms of value last year. By volume, the company managed to sell 650,000 pairs of shoes in 2011, which represents a 2% increase compared with the previous year. Because last year’s winter season was difficult for many retailers, they are currently very cautious with regard to pre-orders. With the help of its own factory and a big warehouse in Kettering, Padders is able to offer its clients a good stock program, and the new web-based order system facilitates rapid handling of re-orders. Padders also manages a factory shop in Kettering, which has recently been enlarged by a children’s footwear department, offering brands such as Lelli Kelly, Camper, Garvalin, Kickers, Hush Puppies, Ricosta, Miss Sixty, Ecco and Primigi.
Peter Kaiser launched its own online shop prior to the GDS
trade show, in order to promote the brand online. The entire range of Peter Kaiser products will be available on the company’s website, including a selection of bags. POS integration is offered to specialist retailers and orders are then allocated to the participating specialist retailers on a geographical basis
The Cambodian Ministry of Commerce reports that the
country’s footwear industry managed to raise exports by 49% in value to $264 million in 2011. The most important customers were the U.S., Canada, Japan, and various Asian and European countries. Currently, there are 40 shoe factories in Cambodia that employ more than 62,000 workers. In comparison, neighbouring Vietnam managed to increase its exports of shoes and other leather products in the first three monthsof this year by 21.7% to $1.04 billion. For the full year 2012,Vietnam expects a 1% increase in exports to $7.3 billion. The Vietnamese shoe industry association, Lefaso, is encouragingnew designers in the country to contribute to the further development of the sector by participating in an international designers’ competition in Guangzhou, China, from May 30 to June 1.
+++A size-36.5 pair of ivory silk mules believed to have
been worn by Marie Antoinette to La Fête de la Fédération in 1790 have been sold at auction for $57,000 +++
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More action on the Indian trade show front
Expo Riva Schuh has announced earlier dates for its new Expo Riva
Schuh India show for finished shoe and leathergoods products in New Delhi, to better align them with the Indian market schedule in the festival season. It will still take place at the Pragati Maidan Exhibition Centre, but on July 5-7.
The organisers feel that the new schedule will also help international
exhibitors to reinforce and provide continuity to the contracts they may have made at the Expo Riva Schuh show in Riva del Garda. An integrated marketing program using more innovative marketing tools will target specific potential visitors. Meanwhile, the organisers of the new India Shoes & Accessories Forum (ISAF), which was held for the first time in Mumbai on March 13-15 at the same time as the established India Fashion Forum, have announced the establishment of a new trade association chaired by a major local shoe retailer, Rafique Malik, who is also chairman of the Metro Shoes chain.
4 • FOOTWEAR TODAY •MAY 2012 www.footweartoday.co.uk
EU and Vietnam discuss free trade agreement
Anci, the Italian shoe industry association, is closely monitoring
development in a proposed free trade agreement between the European Union and Vietnam, similar to one recently signed between the EU and South Korea.
Vietnam is a major supplier of shoes as well as shoe components that is
also developing into an interesting domestic market for European shoes. European shoemakers want to ensure that Vietnam will rapidly abolish all existing tariff and non-tariff barriers to its imports of footwear, including a 32% import duty on leather shoes.
Because of its strong recent economic development, Vietnam has lost its privileged status under the Generalized Preferences Scheme and its shoes are subject to the 8% import duty imposed by the EU on footwear from all other sources.
The free trade agreement in question moved one step closer to reality a
few days ago after the European trade commissioner, Karel De Gucht, and the Vietnamese minister for industry and trade, Vu Huy Hoang, issued a scoping paper that covers topics that should be included in any future trade negotiations. They issued the paper at the recent meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Phnom Penh.
The European Commission has to talk to EU member states before
negotiations begin. The negotiations will cover topics such as elimination of import tariffs, trade in services, barriers to trade besides tariffs, and aspects of intellectual property and competition.
De Gucht said the new duty-free regime would provide better
opportunities for importers, exporters and consumers. In 2011, Vietnam exported almost ¤13 billion to the EU, largely from footwear, textiles and apparel, seafood, and leathergoods. Another ¤5 billion or so went from the EU toVietnam, mostly high-tech products.
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