Supply chain internationalisation in the Marche shoe district
The national Association of Italian Footwear Manufacturers (ANCI) explains ”The success of the footwear sector in Italy is linked to an enterprising spirit and to the structure of the sector. The structure is a ”web” of raw material suppliers, tanneries, components, accessories, machinery manufacturers, model makers and designers. This has resulted in a territorial concentration of firms and the formation of shoe manufacturing districts such as Marche, Tuscany, Venetia and Lombardy. The leading position of the Italian shoe industry is due to superior product quality and high levels of innovation”. The Marche shoe district is the largest concentration of producers of shoes and accessories in Europe. There are more than 3000 shoe firms, almost 500 shoe components firms and more than 100 leather firms employing almost 50 000 workers, with combined sales of over €3 billion. The district is export-oriented, with more than 75 % of production going abroad – mainly to Germany, the USA, Russia and increasingly to Asia, including China.
District firms are mostly small family business with fewer than 20 employees, but there are also a few larger firms with internationally recognised brands. The district leader, Della Valle Group, produces high-quality shoes and bags, matching a classic style design with comfort and a sporty look. Traded on the Milan Stock Exchange, it has sales of €570 million, and has developed strong international brands – such as Tod’s, Hogan and Fay, plus a growing network of directly owned stores. Leading positions in specific market niches are occupied by Fornari (focused on trendy female teenager shoes with its brand Fornarina) by Falc (specialising in children’s top-quality handmade shoes with prices up to €1500). Top fashion firms such as Prada, Dolce & Gabanna and Hugo Boss have signed licensing agreements with Macerata district firms for the production of their shoe collections....
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