World Footwear


Germany stands out as the main European footwear importer

Nov 9, 2016 Germany
Germany stands out as the main European footwear importer
Despite the dynamic growth in the amount of footwear imported by the UK in the first half of the year, Germany proved to be the largest importer across the region, standing head and shoulders above its neighbours and taking second place after the United States in world rankings
According to the latest edition of the World Footwear Yearbook, the European Union in 2015 was the second largest footwear consumer market purchasing a total of 2.76 billion pairs. The analised the data readily available for the first semester of 2016 and concluded that over this period European Union imports of footwear reached 2.14 billion pairs, increasing by 2.4% over the same period for 2015. In value terms, imports totaled 22.36 billion euros, a growth of 5.5% compared to the first semester of the previous year.

According to the World Footwear Yearbook, in 2015 6 countries out of the 10 major importers of footwear were European Union members, with the group being responsible for almost a fourth of worldwide imports. The UK (6.2% share of total imports), Germany (+5.4%), France (4.2%), Italy (2.7%), Belgium (2.5%) and Spain (2.4%) are the EU’s major importers, collectively accounting for 2.8 billion pairs of shoes in 2015.

During the first half of the current year, imports of footwear by these 6 countries without exception increased in terms of value. From the 1.8% growth registered in the UK to the 9.7% increase in Belgium, all the major importers in the European Union showed growth in the value of their footwear imports. However, different performances were registered in terms of volume.

In the first half of the current year GERMANY SURPASSED the UK as the main IMPORTER within the EU, with 355.4 million pairs of shoes valued at 4.58 billion euros. The UK, the second largest importer in the world in 2015, increased the volume of its imports by 7.2% (349.5 million pairs) and the value by 1.8%, crossing the 2.5 billion euros threshold (2.57 billion euros). Despite the very dynamic growth in the first semester and if this tendency and trends continue, Germany could become in 2016 the largest importer of footwear in the EU, and second in the world after the US, overtaking the UK.

France, ranking third in the main EU importers over the first half, imported 267.8 million pairs of shoes with a value of 3.24 billion pairs (+6.4% in value; -2.7% in volume). Belgium follows with a total of 163.2 million pairs worth 1.83 billion euros, dropping by 5.4% in terms of volume by comparison with the same period last year, but increasing the amount paid for footwear entering the country (+9.7%).

During the first semester, Italy was in 5th position with a total of 190.3 million pairs of shoes valued at 2.4 billion euros entering the country, registering growth over the same period last year (+4.8% in terms of quantity and 6.7% in terms of value). Finally, Spain purchased 161.1 million pairs for 1.38 billion euros (+3.3% in terms of volume and 6.7% in terms of value).

Although a significant part of imports into the European Union refers to intra-EU trade relations, the main EU importers source most of their imported footwear from outside the EU. In fact, from this group of six countries, only Germany (66%) and France (53%) have a share in imports from countries outside the EU which is below the 75% threshold. It is worth highlighting that almost 9 out of each 10 pairs of shoes entering the UK come from a country outside the European Union (88%).

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