Brazil | 22/04/2022

Third-party brands drive Brazilian footwear exports

International labels are arriving in Brazil, as an alternative to Asian suppliers.

Since the second half of 2021, the Brazilian footwear industry has been experiencing a recovery, the main factor of which is the increase in exports. Last year, 123.6 million pairs were shipped, 32% more than in 2020 and 7.3% more than in the year before the Covid-19 pandemic (2019). In the first three months of 2022, footwear sales abroad continued to increase, totaling more than 40.7 million pairs shipped abroad, 27.3% more than in the same period of 2021. According to the Brazilian Footwear Industries Association (Abicalçados). In addition to the decrease in Covid-19, among the determining factors for this performance are exports with international client brands, a model called “private label”.

The executive president of Abicalçados, Haroldo Ferreira, highlighted that the demand for products from the main international retail brands, especially from the United States, has been fundamental for the restart of Brazilian footwear exports. “It is the resumption of an important and historic moment for the Brazilian industry. Until the mid-2000s, when China emerged as the most important supplier of footwear in the world, Brazil was a large private label exporter, especially to the United States, our main historical destination abroad", said the executive, emphasizing that at that time the demand from North America migrated to Asia. After a hiatus of almost two decades, the search of American buyers for new footwear suppliers, alternative to the Asian ones, has changed the “rules of the game”.

According to Ferreira, in addition to the new configuration in the international context, the evolution of the national production chain, today is much more prepared and competitive than in the mid-2000s. "Today we have a complete chain, from the components to the final product, all this with technology, quality, sustainability and design. In addition, attributes such as production flexibility for the sale of smaller batches, as well as preparation for personalized attention in the international market, place us at another competitive level”, evaluated the executive. Adding that China, although it is still the main supplier of footwear on the planet, has been losing strength in the face of the needs of more demanding and conscious consumers, especially in North America and Europe. “The global consumer has paid increasing attention to the origins of the product consumed, in particular to issues of environmental, social and economic sustainability. In this context, Brazil stands out as the main supplier of footwear in the world”, he commented.

In this scenario of growing international demand for shoes from Brazil, the search for products with client brands has been generating opportunities for Brazilian factories specialized in serving the private label market. A report generated by Abicalçados Market Intelligence indicates that, in 2019, 15.8% of the shoes shipped abroad were with international client brands, a number that rose to 18.2% last year. "And it is a percentage that should grow in the coming years", Ferreira projected.

Source: ABICALÇADOS/Press Office

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