The global population is increasing considerably and the demand for consumer goods is rising exponentially. The leather industry across the globe is characterized by fragmented industry concentration across geographies, fast market dynamics, and a labor intensive industry structure. The developing and agrarian countries are increasingly focusing on animal husbandry which drives the meat and skin and hides industry. The whole chain of the leather industry right from animal husbandry is facilitated by improved technological developments. Hides and skin material supply is expected to grow at a rate of 3%-4% annually.
This growth is expected to continue up to 2030 due to improved farming efficiency even in developing countries. The leather footwear industry grew post the liberalization era. Across the globe, it is seen that the leather footwear industry is well diversified geographically. Moreover, this industry has undergone a major transformation in terms of availability of raw materials, returns maximization, and trade concentration. The leather footwear industry was dominated by the men’s segment since inception. These days, the women’s segment is expanding in the overall leather footwear market.
The global leather footwear market is benefitted by regions with large industry concentration. The supply side of the market is benefitted by the availability of skilled labor at lower cost. Along with this, surplus raw material availability is another advantage of the supply side. Additionally, improving institutional support for small scale industry development is aiding this market on a huge scale. Another aiding factor is the focus on product development and design features through institutional support such as schools, colleges, R&D centers, government training centers, etc. There is an increasing number of students choosing footwear design and manufacturing as their career.
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One of the key driving factors expected to impact the leather footwear market positively is the rising income among consumers. Lifestyles are improving with increasing consumer spending. With a surging working class population, demand for formal shoes especially made of leather is expected to grow at a steady rate. One of the main challenges for manufacturers of leather footwear products is the timely availability of pure raw material. On the other hand, the number of leather footwear manufacturers is rising in the developing economies, and countries such as India are increasingly multiplying their cottage and small scale industries, creating an opportunity in the leather footwear market.
One of the biggest market trends in the leather footwear market is that China and other Asian countries are increasingly relying on the domestic market rather than exports due to more production centers. Another trend witnessed in this industry is the growing affluence in developing countries such as India, making international players invest in the retail sector. Another trend witnessed in such countries is the rising culture of made to order products.
The global leather footwear market is segmented on the basis of type, price range, consumer group, and distribution channel. On the basis of type, the market is segmented as formal, casual, and outdoor. Additionally, based on price range, the market can be categorized as low-range, mid-range, and high-range. The consumer group segment is bifurcated into three broad categories: men, women, and children. In terms of distribution channel, leather footwear products are made available through brick & mortar stores as well as the online platform. Some of the basic offline stores through which consumers buy leather footwear are large format stores, individual retailers, branded stores, etc.
The top global players in the leather footwear market are Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A., Allen Edmonds, Hermès International S.A., Kering S.A., Bruno Magli, LVMH, Cole Haan, Genesco Inc., Prada Holding B.V., and Crockett & Jones, amongst others.
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