It’s 10.000 km from Portugal but that’s not a problem. Japan is definitely back on the Portuguese companies’ horizon. The investment in new markets, especially outside Europe, is one of the main priorities of the Portuguese footwear industry in the next few years. As a result of this strategy, the Portuguese footwear will initiate a new investment in the Japanese market, next November, with the integration of 13 companies in “Fashion World Tokyo”.
This is the biggest fashion exhibition of Japan, which takes place twice a year and gathers approximately 850 exhibitors from around the world – that include clothing, footwear and fashion accessories – and over 28.000 professional visitors.
“We have to find alternative markets outside Europe”, stated Pedro Lopes. The new Commercial Director of C.O.M – Creative Of Minds ensures that Japan “appears as an excellent opportunity. We have initiated the commercial relation with the market but we believe it can be enhanced in the next few years”. Pedro Ramos, from Ambitious, assumes that “it is already an important market in terms of private label but the conditions are right to deepen the attendance in the market and to bridge the gap between the other Asian markets.”
For the 13 companies that attended “Fashion World Tokyo”, the Japanese market can be the launch pad for other evolving Asian markets.
Exports to Japan on the rise
In the past five years, the Portuguese footwear exports to Japan increased over 70%, from 7.5 to 13 million euros by the end of the last year. Numbers that could threaten the market’s potential but can now be reinforced.
According to World Footwear Yearbook, Japan, which has 127 million inhabitants, is one of the most promising market within the international scene. In terms of consumption, is the fifth main country on a global scale, with an apparent consumption of 607 million pairs of shoes per year. Annually, Japan imports over 590 million pairs of shoes, especially from China (395 million in 2014), Vietnam (62 million) and Italy (27 million).