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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Domestic Footwear Lacking

Next spring and summer, shoppers will be able to stock up on domestic summer footwear — albeit this year’s leftovers.

Market participants said 30 percent of this year’s domestic spring-summer footwear was not sold, a shortfall that left local producers to reassess their ability to compete with imports.

Meanwhile, all is well with importers. According to data from the State Statistics Committee for January to July, imports of leather footwear more than doubled and there is no problem with sales.

The normal volume of unsold footwear at the end of the season is 10 percent to 15 percent, said Valery Raspopin, a board member in the National Footwear Union and president of Interkontrakt, which makes Cezarini shoes.

This year the situation is doubly bad and early indicators for the autumn-winter season show no light at the end of the tunnel. Manufacturers are hard-pressed to explain why the market has moved away from locally produced goods.

Raspopin said an overproduction crisis hit the sector and blames Southeast Asia. He said the government should adopt protectionist measures and offer local producers tax breaks. Other specialists said it would be sufficient to raise the qualifications of managers in the footwear industry.

The editor of the Obuv Sezona magazine, Alexandra Fedyanina, said domestic companies follow 1996-97 thinking, which is a little out of date. The customer has changed and demands a different quality of footwear. Russian manufacturers have realized this too late, she said.