The South African Footwear Industry
The South African footwear industry, a sector that includes the manufacture, wholesale, import and retail of shoes, slippers, boots and safety shoes, is proving resilient in the face of tough economic conditions and is worth approximately R54.9bn. The manufacturing sales value of the industry was estimated to be worth R5.5bn in 2016, up from 4.5bn in 2014. The industry is well-organised and represented by the Southern African Footwear and Leather Industries Association (SAFLIA) and the South African Footwear and Leather Export Council (SAFLEC), which promotes, facilitates and networks South African-made footwear internationally. SAFLIA statistics show that 193 footwear manufacturers employed 11,937 people.
A Net Importer
According to the South African Footwear and Leather Industry Association (SAFLIA), the local market demand for footwear is 248 million pairs. Although local manufacture increased 10% from 60.8 million pairs of shoes in 2015 to 66.8 million pairs in 2016, an estimated 73% of all footwear items are imported. However footwear imports decreased in volume terms by 7.6% to 181.1 million pairs, from 196 million pairs in 2015. China is still responsible for nearly 90% of all the footwear imported into South Africa.
The report on the South African Footwear Industry discusses the domestic industry, recent developments and factors influencing the success of the sector. The report profiles 57 companies including retailer, Edgars which closed its Shoe Gallery stores in 2017 citing challenging trading conditions, and Steinhoff Africa Retail Ltd (Star), a new independent company established to run all Steinhoff’s Africa businesses. The company, owner of Pep, Ackermans and Shoe City, acquired Tekkie Town in November 2016 and then listed on the JSE in September 2017. Also profiled is BBF Safety Group whose Bagshaw Footwear division is set to increase its national and international footprint following an investment of R16m into state-of-the-art moulding equipment.