Bruna Garcia Fonseca
São Paulo – The director general of the department store chain Almoosa, from Saudi Arabia, visited the 50th edition of the International Shoe and Accessories Fashion Fair (FRANCAL) this Wednesday (18), at Expo Center Norte, São Paulo. Mohammed Al-Mousa told ANBA that this is the fifth time he comes for the event and that Brazilian shoes make up 60% of total sales in his more than thirty stores in the Arab country.
From total purchases made by the brand in Brazil, 85% are of men’s shoes and 15% of women’s. The local brands which supply Almoosa are Sapatoterapia, Democrata, Ramarim and Pegada, and the director said that he’s looking to get to know other brands, increase purchases and buy kid’s shoes.
“We’ve been working with Brazilian shoes for over ten years and we really like them, since the collections are always in tune with fashion worldwide. Plus, the shoes are very comfortable and have great price and quality,” said Al-Mousa, who also buys shoes from Italy, Germany and Portugal.
Sapatoterapia’s export analyst, Gustavo Figueiredo, said that Almoosa is a major client and business partner and that, besides the Saudi store, he has other Arab clients in the Middle East. “In Saudi Arabia we have Almoosa and Florina Shoes and we have been doing business with them for over ten years; in the UAE we have three clients, and in Oman, one,” said Figueiredo.
According to him, the Arabs buy around 40% of the output exported by Sapatoterapia, and the brand’s main importer currently is an UAE client. The Franca-based brand, located 401 km from São Paulo, only sells men’s shoes and, currently, 60% of its output is exported to nearly 80 countries.
The kids’ and teen’s shoe brand Kidy sells to over 40 countries and it has Arab clients in the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar and they represent nearly 40% of the brand’s total exports. The UAE is the main buyer in volume; with Argentina and Bolivia leading in revenues.
“We’re members of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and that lends us some strength, since when we introduce ourselves as members it carries some relevance and we have been signing good deals in the Middle East in the last three years,” said Rodrigo Nunes Esteves, the brand’s exports manager.
Esteves said that the brand’s exports have been posting an annual growth of 30% since 2014 and that he hopes to maintain this rate for the next few years.
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Dina Dargham, secretary of Egypt’s consul in São Paulo, visited FRANCAL as a representative of Egypt’s embassy in Brazil. She came to encourage Brazilian brands to buy Egyptian input and to invite them to open branches in the Egyptian free trade zones, which offer many benefits and tax exemptions.
“Egypt already imports a great deal of shoes from Brazil, and we’re here presenting some input options that the country offers, such as cotton, silk, crocodile and donkey leather. Plus, we’re promoting the Egyptian free trade zones, since it can be a great deal to shoe companies to finish their products in our country,” said Dargham.
FRANCAL runs until this Thursday (19) at Expo Center Norte, at street José Bernardo Pinto, 333, São Paulo. For further information, visit the trade expo’s website.
Translated by Sérgio Kakitani