How do you choose your shoes?

How much do the shoes we wear affect our daily mood? How much does the model we wear matter in social communication? How much importance do we give to the quality of the footwear that carries us around the world every day?

Our shoes speak of us and to us: footwear that is appropriate for the occasion, that makes us feel comfortable, that satisfies us from an aesthetic point of view, and that makes us feel good physically is basic. There is no such thing as the perfect shoe, but there is the ideal one for the conformation of our foot and the activity we are about to perform. A shoe is a work of architecture.

The footwear market is large and diverse, valued US$424 billion in 2022, with a projected annual growth rate of 4.25% (CAGR 2022-2027). The production chain is long and includes many countries, but Italy is considered one of the best producers in the world and a pillar of the Fashion System. In 2020, in fact, our country was registered as the leading footwear producer in the European Union with more than 130 million pairs produced and the thirteenth in the world, in addition to being the eighth exporting country worldwide in volume, but the third in value (WorldFootwearYearbook data). This results in a territorial concentration of companies in areas organized into districts, located mainly in 7 regions: Marche, Tuscany, Veneto, Campania, Lombardy, Apulia and Emilia-Romagna, affecting as many as 23 provinces.

This primacy in international markets is due to a strong competitive ability that is based on undisputed product quality, relevant innovative capacity in traditional manufacturing processes and know-how of the footwear workers, supported by technologically and stylistically advanced training schools.

All this marvelous savoir-faire, at a historical moment such as the one we are going through, must be preserved and directed toward greater stability and prosperity. For this reason, footwear companies must start from the ground up: define their own style, identify their added value, map the domestic and foreign markets, analyze and select the markets towards which to address, and identify the right communication and sales channels.

Roncucci&Partners, which for many years has been accompanying companies in the processes of business internationalization, business (re)organization and investment strategies to enhance Made in Italy in the world, continues its work by founding it on direct experience, analysis and the transfer of skills, assisting companies in the footwear sector (from component to finished product companies) in every aspect of the business.

Digitization is bringing broad innovations to the fashion system along the different stages of the supply chain. Upstream, the application of augmented reality will reduce waste by working on 3D models and producing only the parts needed. Industry 4.0 technologies will make it possible to reduce production costs, time-to-market and waste generated; blockchain evolutions, moreover, could enable better traceability of each stage of product life by making the supply chain more transparent. Downstream, on the other hand, the shopping experience will become increasingly digital, thanks to the greater spread of e-commerce across different platforms and the use of artificial intelligence. And indeed, we are increasingly moving toward the omnichannel that sees a deep blending of the physical and digital worlds, making the consumer’s journey along all their touchpoints increasingly intense (but also complex for companies).

This is a time of great innovations, which are not always easy and immediate to pursue. But Roncucci&Partners is there and accompanies companies not only abroad, but also into the future – it has to be said – step by step.



Stefania Gilli

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