The USA is the priority
Almost twenty Portuguese footwear companies attended the PN Platform, in Las Vegas. This was the biggest investment ever of the Portuguese footwear in the North American market.
Although the Portugal already exports 82 million pairs of shoes to 152 countries worldwide, worth over 2000 million dollars, the USA is the main priority of the Portuguese footwear. The Portuguese footwear sales for the USA have been increasing consistently (from 12 to 70 million euros over the past eight years). Therefore, for the President of APICCAPS, “the growth potential of the Portuguese footwear sector in the American market is very significant”. The goal is to “double the exports for the USA in the next few years”, highlighted Luís Onofre.
According to Matt Priest, the President at Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America (FDRA), “in the USA 2.5 thousand million pairs of shoes or 7.5 pairs per person are bought per year. If Portugal is attentive to this potential and works to conquer a slice of 1%, it would immediately have a record year in terms of sales”. Matt Priest’s quick calculations leads us to conclude that “there’s a bright future within the reach of the Portuguese footwear industry in the North American market”.
The approach to the North American market has already begun a few months ago, with conferences, visits from American importers to Portuguese companies and, most recently, the action “Portugal Design Showcase”, in NY, which gathered footwear, clothing and jewelry at the same time, in Standard Hotel Highline. “we have been working with APICCAPS to prepare the brands and factories to do business in the USA”, stated Leslie Gallin. For the UBM Fashion’s President, “this is the right moment to look at Portugal and its footwear”.