Milan’s Micam ‘better than expected’

The 93rd edition of Micam took place on 13-15 March at the Fiera Milano exhibition center in Rho, near Milan. The footwear trade show was originally due to take place on 20-22 February, but the organiser postponed it following requests by “the market and industry operators”. Italian footwear trade body and Micam organiser Assocalzaturifici announced the change of dates on 19 January.

Micam coincided with handbag and accessory fare Mipel, men’s and women’s wear trade show The One Milano and the Homi Fashion and Jewels exhibition. The fairs first started exhibiting together in September 2020, as a result of the pandemic.

A total of 29,468 visitors attended five-day event – ​​Micam ran over three days – where more than 1,400 brands exhibited. The organizer says the number of visitors from Italy and abroad were equal. The last show before the pandemic, in February 2020, played host to 1,205 brands and 40,850 visitors from around the world.

Helen Dobson, owner of The Shoe Gallery in Prestwick, Ayrshire, said: “I got a great deal out of going. I picked up some great new labels. Like every show at the moment, it’s not back up to speed. It didn’ t have the number of exhibitors it’s had in the past, but it was easier to find brands, as it was quieter.”

UK and Ireland country manager of women’s footwear brand Tamaris, David Coles told Drapers he had spoken to a few buyers based in the UK and Ireland, adding: “We have seen a steady numbers of visitors throughout the show, some of our global customers and , of course, many from Italy.

“It is of course difficult to compare this show with 2019 or before – the show is smaller and still missing exhibitors and visitors from Asia, North America and from much of Europe. But as a key European fashion brand, it’s important for us to come, meet new and existing customers, and reinforce our message that Tamaris continues to develop and serve our trade customers and consumers through these times. It’s also a good show to exchange ideas and views from global industry professionals.”

March 2022

Coles last visited Micam in September 2021, when he said conditions under Covid restrictions were still difficult: “Travel restrictions were severe and many retailers had been closed for much of spring/summer, and was really a domestic Italian show for many.

“Naturally, we are still some way off pre-pandemic exhibitions, and there are still political and economic concerns, but for me it’s another stage in the recovery process for the industry.”

Despite the change in dates of the show, exhibitors were pleased with visitor numbers but noted a lack of customers from the UK and Ireland.

Stephen Joseph, country manager at women’s footwear brand Caprice told Drapers: “Many larger-volume players canceled their plans to travel to the fair, because of the concern of later factory orders meaning later delivery dates. So we have been flat out all over Europe getting the orders in for the end-of-March sales deadline.

“Attendance was better than expected, but with fewer British and Irish retailers visiting the fair than normal.”

Joseph noted that Caprice’s Russia- and Ukraine-based teams did not travel to the event: “The huge contingent of Russian buyers were simply not there this time. Many buyers from Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Israel and the US made it, all in all, a better show than expected for us.”

Antony Nathan, managing director of footwear distribution agency 33 Joints, exhibited at Micam with women’s footwear brand Mou. He agreed that footfall was not as busy as previous seasons, and also noted a lack of Russian, US and Asian buyers. He said it was busy with Italian and other European Union-based visitors, and he had spoken to German footwear retailer Görtz.

Nathan said a mix of Covid restrictions, the delayed dates and Russia crisis led to reduced footfall, but added: “It was worth me going to meet suppliers and brands, but that was really the only reason to go this season. Usually I see lots. more customers.”

Some brands withheld from exhibiting as it was too late in the season for their customers. One footwear buyer, who usually attends Micam each season said: “The numbers at Micam have gone down and down, it used to be 60 to 70. [UK brands at the show], and now it’s gone way down. It’s a shame, as it was by far the biggest footwear show in Europe.”

A statement by Siro Badon, president of the Italian footwear industry body Assocalzaturifici, said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had affected attendance at Micam, and was in danger of denting the industry. He said that even though Italian footwear sales for 2021 had risen 18.7% on 2020, this was still 11% below 2019’s pre-pandemic levels.

“The event was not an easy one, in view of the trend which, because of the current geopolitical situation and the conflict under way in Ukraine, was marked by the absence of buyers and visitors from the Russian area. The current international scenario also had an impact on visitors from other areas.

“The effects of the impact of this new political landscape will begin to be felt in the footwear industry in the months to come. The repercussions of international events will definitely be felt in production areas primarily serving the Russian and Ukrainian markets, such as the Marche. region and a part of Tuscany. This situation could not come at a worse time, just as the business was beginning to recover from the pandemic of the past two years.”

The next edition of Micam will be held on 18-21 September.

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