It’s a market niche full of smiles and sweet flavors. The dreams of these clients are balloon-shaped, colorful, and fun. We’re obviously talking about the kids’ segment, in which Portugal is ahead on the race.
The Coolest Kids, Childs Play, and Kids Just Wanna Have Fun were the slogans of the last APICCAPS campaigns, which have clear goals: increase exports, reach new clients and conquer new markets.
The Portuguese exports of children’s footwear increased to a total of 85 million euros, in November 2020. Thus, the growth potential is highly significant. “The children’s footwear sector is a very specific and demanding segment. With the Portuguese companies’ know-how of generations and a strong development capacity, we can make a difference in this very demanding segment”, says the president of APICCAPS, Luís Onofre.
What are the particularities of this sector?
Quality, design, and rapid response for small volume orders. These are a few of the children’s footwear sector attributes. To Cristiano Lopes, Wolf&Son’s CEO, manufacturing children’s footwear requires some concerns. “The parents that choose Wolf&Son for their kids are aware of the details that don’t exist on other children’s brands”.
The level of demand when choosing materials is exactly the same as safety and comfort: “We always choose the same materials as for adults, however, they have to be comfortable, light and resistant. We can’t forget that our clients are very energetic”.
To Jorge Fernandes da Savana, comfort is the keyword when it comes to children’s footwear. “That’s what the market demands. Besides following the fashion tendencies of adults, the current demand is in comfort”. The company from Felgueiras has been investing in the introduction of the Strobel construction, which makes shoes even more comfortable and flexible. “We increasingly feel that our clients – in this case, the parents – are looking for flexible, soft, and comfortable shoes. Thus, that’s where we’re heading”. To the company’s CEO, the “sector has a great growth potential in external markets”. However, the pandemic has created challenges, namely regarding having a quick and flexible response.