“Made in Tuscany” footwear increased their presence abroad and total exports for 1.74 billion Euros in 2013. Based on the annual statistics released by Assocalzaturifici, the Italian association that gathers approximately 700 of the sector’s businesses, there was a +4% overall increase from the previous year, due primarily to the excellent results achieved by Tuscan producers in North America (+7%) and in the Far East (+9%) as well as in Western Europe (+35%). There were also noticeable performances in South America and the Middle East, although the ‘weight’ of these markets remains contained compared to other areas. Over the past five years, the value of exported Tuscan footwear has increased by 31% and currently accounts for 21% of Italian footwear exports.

The primary outlet market for the Tuscan products – which are mainly realized in three excellence districts: the Valdarno Superiore (between the provinces of Florence, Siena, and Arezzo), the Valdinievole (near Pistoia), and Lucca – is the United States (with over 300 million), followed by France and Switzerland, whereas the biggest potentials are identified by the growth in Hong Kong and Russia. According to the Assocalzaturifici analysis, the driving force was provided by Florentine exports that grew by 13.5% in 2013 and that, with nearly 900 million Euros, makes Florence Italy’s second province, after the province of Fermo and Ascoli Piceno in the Marche region, in terms of footwear exports. There were, however, decreases for Arezzo, Pistoia, and Lucca.

At the national level, “made in Italy” footwear generated 8.1 billion Euros from abroad in 2013, and with some of the principal districts – in the Vento, Marche, and Tuscany regions – exporting between 70% and 90% of their production. According to Assocalzaturifici’s 2014 Shoe Report, Italy is the top footwear producer in Europe (and the second globally, after China) and with the highest average price per pair of shoes among the top fifteen footwear exporting countries, confirming its position in the market’s medium to high bracket. 

In partnership with Ilsole24Ore