Italy's trade and industry association, Confindustria, has urged local retailers to look into expansion in overseas market to improve the export performance of its high-end brands.
Italy achieved export growth in 2012 of 2.1%. Export-focused industries, including footwear, saw a significant drop from levels attained in 2011 (6.1%) and in 2010 (15.3%)
"Italy suffers from the absence of Italian retailers who have become successful at an international level. Italian retailers could serve as a showcase for Made-in-Italy products. Alternatively, brands must either work with large international distribution chains or open their own stores in export markets," the association announced in a statement.
Confindustria stressed that the majority of Italy's leather goods, footwear and other fashion brands are small and medium-sized enterprises, making it difficult for them to find the resources for expansion.