The average price of shoes sold in the Italian shoe shops increased by about 3 percent on avarage in 2005, according to a survey conducted by Federcalzature, the Italian shoe retailers’ association. This trend is somewhat strange, considering the recent decline in the price of imported shoes, but it may be related to a general trading-up pattern and to a higher proportion of boots sold in the stores. Italian retailers are also selling more and more sneakers, the survey indicates. Sales were stable last year for 42 percent of the 159 respondents. While 37 percent said their sales increased last year – at rates varying from 3 to 10 percent per store – the remaining 21 percent said they declined – at a rate of between 2 and 20 percent.