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Abicalçados seeks further growth in China

Brazilian footwear brands must band together to present themselves to Chinese consumers, industry body Abicalçados has said, and must tap into Chinese consumers’ growing desire to buy online.

Reporting back to member companies the results of a trade mission that Abicalçados organised in September to Shanghai, Hangzhou and Chongqing, the organisation’s commercial programme co-ordinator, Letícia Sperb Masselli, said that marketing Brazilian footwear in China will be expensive, but worthwhile.

She pointed out that in 2010, when Abicalçados began promoting Brazilian shoes in China (as part of the Brazilian Footwear programme that the South American company’s official export promotions agency, Apex-Brasil, supports), it was an export market worth $1.4 million per year to Brazilian shoe companies. By 2016, that figure had increased to $6 million, growth of 400%. And because Chinese consumers are currently buying around 4 billion pairs per year, she said, the scope for growing Brazil’s share of the market further is great.

“It’s a huge market,” she said, “and that’s what makes it costly to run campaigns for us to promote the image of Brazilian shoes.” She explained that, for 2018, Abicalçados wants to set the objective of working closely with Brazilian footwear brands to help them be more “assertive” in their approach to winning business in China. Crucially, she said this must involve a combination of online and offline sales.




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