The latest edition of TheMicam in Milan hosted 1,581 exhibitors last month, a little higher than one year ago thanks to a larger number of foreign firms. It occupied 68,000 square meters of space, more or less the same as one year ago.

The number of foreign visitors went up to 20,802 from 20,584, but a big 13 percent drop in domestic attendance – down to 17,819 from 20,501 in September 2012 – pushed down the total to 38,621 attendees, compared with 41,085 one a year ago. The poor market situation in Italy was blamed for the fall. There were more foreign visitors, with big growth from China and Hong Kong (see the table on this page), probably due in part to the efforts made in China through the new theMicam Shanghai show.

The GDS in Düsseldorf did not perform better. The organizers reported almost 21,000 daily visits, compared with 22,500 a year ago, but the action at both fairs will probably improve next year with the new earlier dates that they have recently announced.

Meanwile,Assocalzaturifici, the Italian shoe industry association, and Fieramilano, its partner in theMicam shows in Milan and Shanghai, are seriously studying a project to hold a new fair in the U.S. based on the model of theMicam Shanghai. They went to the U.S. for this purpose at the end of last month, together with representative of the Italian Trade Commission..

All the options are still open, and the American project is not expected to come onstream before 2015 at the earliest. A choice has not yet been made with regard to the venue, but New York seems to be the favorite right now.

Like the show in Shanghai, the American version of theMicam will probably reserve about two-thirds of its space for Italian companies.

The Micam Visitors

 

Sept.
2013

Sept.
2012

%
Change

Italy

17,819

20,501

-13.1

Russia

1,674

1,571

6.6

Spain

1,501

1,612

-6.9

China-Hong Kong

1,499

1,315

14.0

Japan

1,469

1,419

3.5

France

1,397

1,447

-3.5

Germany

1,106

1,189

-7.0

Switzerland

1,061

1,127

-5.9

Turkey

678

617

9.9

UK

675

773

-12.7

Ukraine

673

627

7.3

Greece

619

608

1.8

Belgium

603

593

1.7

Netherlands

585

725

-19.3

Poland

494

448

10.3

USA

413

445

-7.2

Portugal

386

431

-10.4

Austria

332

338

-1.8

South Korea

301

231

30.3

Australia

244

226

8.0

Israel

188

175

7.4

Canada

184

193

-4.7

Denmark

178

188

-5.3

Kazakhstan

164

179

-8.4

Lebanon

162

216

-25.0

Sweden

162

179

-9.5

Others

4,054

3,712

-36.3

TOTAL

38,621

41,085

-6.0

The American project seems to be less advanced than that of theMicam Moscow, a new version of Obuv that would be based on the same international-oriented model, with a stronger non-Italian component than the present fair. It would be held in a different hall of the same fairgrounds and could even be implemented one year from now. It would take place before or after theMicam Shanghai.

The Shanghai fair, which is being held for the second time starting today, is hosting about 260 brands, around the same number as last spring, but the number of Italian participants has gone down to around 170, partly because of the economic situation in Italy and because the dates of the show have fallen just a few days ealier than those of Obuv.

Another problem is the fact that some of the current Chinese agents and distributors of the Italian companies prefer to stay out of the fair and steer their development single-handedly. That is also one reason for a drop in the number of Spanish exhibitors. One of them, Unisa, has reportedly decided not to come back because it has found a Chinese partner.

Instead, J.B. Martin from France and its Chinese partner have decided to remain loyal to the fair to showcase the classy store concept that they have developed for the Chinese market.

The drop in the number of Italian firms at the show is compensated by an increase in the number of foreign participants. In particular, the number of French exhibitors has risen to 14 from only three last April. There is also one more Brazilian company than before.

The stands at the Shanghai fair have a better look than at the previous edition. Visitors are being let in through three separate entrances. They are being exposed to fashion trends and invited to a lottery. A new dedicated area for children's shoes is featured at theMicam Shanghai.

TheMicam Shanghai is starting out well, with 22 percent more visitors pre-registered than at its first edition last spring. The partners in theMicam Shanghai launched a major information to attract more visitors ahead of the fair, using an enlarged database of about 13,000 contacts. Of those, 300 have been offered VIP treatment and 3,000 others are taking advantages of other special services. Road shows and press conferences have been held in major cities over the past few weeks, with more marketing than before in areas such as Chengdu, Zheijang and Fujian.

Underscoring the new direction in which theMicam is moving, a Chinese retailer was the first from his country to receive the Micam Retail Award at the Milan fair last month. Based in Chengdu, William Wong was honored for his new multi-brand shoe retail project, the Italian Fashion Gallery.

According to officials of Assocalzaturifici, the Italian shoe industry association, China and Hong Kong are likely to overtake the U.K as a major destination for Italian shoes, coming after Russia.