Brazil’s Itapuã to be in Saudi showroom

07 de julho de 2016

São Paulo – The Brazilian shoe company Calçados Itapuã SA will showcase its products at a Saudi Arabia showroom late next October. It has organized the event – which it created – in a Saudi hotel since 2009, also featuring other shoe brands. Today, the showroom features over 40 companies from around the world, which introduce their collections to the Saudi and Middle Eastern markets once a year.

The information was supplied by Itapuã Exports manager Saulo Altoé. He was the one who organized the showroom in partnership with acquaintances in footwear companies in Brazil and other countries. It turned out successful and then a Saudi family business, Florina, took over, moving it to larger venues and garnering new participants. Aside from Itapuã, six other businesses from Brazil are going this year, according to Altoé.

Past editions took place in Jeddah, spanning two stories of a mall one time and a sophisticated events venue on another. This year, it will happen in Medina for the first time. Next year, there will be two editions. Altoé explains that the showroom has become a popular sales channel that is widely publicized on the Saudi press. Deals are made not only within Saudi Arabia, but also involving other gulf countries, since freight costs are low due to the country’s vast oil output, and no taxes are levied on transportation of goods across the region.

Itapuã makes sandals for men and children under its own brand, as well as women’s leather shoes branded New Face, and sandals made of synthetic material for men and children under the brand Itsandal. Itapuã sells mostly men’s and children’s shoes to the Middle East, namely to Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, the UAE, Yemen, Comoros, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Sudan, Syria, and Tunisia.

Altoé claims the women’s shoes market in the Middle East is still very much dominated by China. “Their women buy lots of shoes,” he says. He explains that consumers are very fashion-conscious and do not wear the same item many times. This means they need to buy more often, and therefore they need lower prices. That is why they go for synthetic items. The men, on the other hand, are more conservative, so they will look for leather sandals, with higher quality and durability. The manager says the idea of women’s leather shoes “still needs to be planted” in the region.

Itapuã exports to more than 60 countries. At first it used to sell to South America, but it didn’t take long to realize that Islamic countries were strong potential buyers. It made its move on the Arab market and has been selling to Arab countries for 15 years now, but began investing more heavily on exporting in general some 10 years ago. At this time, Itapuã’s foreign sales are quite evenly spread throughout the world, according to the manager. The company makes 10,000 pairs of shoes a day and ships about 20% of them abroad. Out of its total exports, 20% go to Arab countries.

Itapuã outsources its entire manufacturing operations to nine third-party plants. The company is based in Cachoeiro do Itapemirim, Espírito Santo. It has 130 own stores in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo.

Calçados Itapuã SA
Phone: + 55 (28) 2101 9009

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum