Challenges Shoe factories in Italy, Spain & Portugal will face in the next decade

Shoe factories in Europe can expect real challenges ove the next decade. The world is changing fast, new techs, new types of consumers, environmental concerns, big competition between supplier markets, Asia, North Africa, South America and Europe – all of them fighting for a top spot in the footwear industry.
Shoe factories in Europe are already facing the big challenges that will haunt them for the next decade – lack of human resources, new demand tendencies, brick and  mortar stores are closing to give space to the web space.

Less Human Resources, increased staff costs

The main players in Footwear manufacturing in Europe (Portugal, Spain and Italy) will face real challenges over the next years in terms of lack of people. Highly related as “non-skilled” jobs as you don’t need to have a degree to work on that, typical jobs as sewers and other elementary jobs in the process of shoe making don’t find attractive to the young generation.
This puts in place a real challenge for shoe factories on how to keep supplying the demand in terms of quantities and the quality European manufacturing always differences themselves from the rest of the world itself.
The lack of human resources will bring a consecutive increase in footwear manufacturing costs. If a shoe factory need to attract human resources they will need to capture talent disputed by other factories that are also facing the same kind of issue. So how can a shoe factory attract this talent. Well, the 1st thing they probably need to do is offer better salaries. If the manufacturer is offer better salaries this will mean fix costs of manufacturing will likely increase.

New tendencies

A big challenge the footwear factories industries are facing is the lack of open-mindness in regards to new materials the industry is demanding. Consumer want to make more sustainable and no animal harm choices, meaning the leather that has been used by shoe factories since the very start of their business needs to be replaced. This is particularly hard to do as the way of working with faux leather or eco-friendly materials is particularly different – is time to adapt and shoe factories need to face it.

Brick and mortar stores are closing and more online shopping is the preferred way of footwear consuming. Meaning more brick and mortar stores are closing as the tendency is have with pass of the time less customers coming in trough their door. This means shoe factories face a different challenge in terms of distribution of their product. The classic way of distribution is having a representant or distributor selling their product to footwear or fashion stores – this is changing as more and more new business don’t have have  a showroom or a physical place for their customer to visit.

Thus the method for distribution needs to be different and footwear factories need to think in new ways to put their shoes in front of the customer. One of these methods is with no doubt the private labeling of shoes. As many independent online businesses are shifting from selling others business brands to sell their own.