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Taiwanese foam shoes pose challenge to Agra leather footwear industry

19
Jan '06
Taiwanese foam, known as 'synthetic leather,' poses a serious challenge to the Agra shoe industry, in place of leather.

Agra accounts for almost 35 percent share of leather shoes produced in the India.

Footwear market in Agra retails almost 70-75 percent Taiwanese foam shoes, replacing leather shoes.

Survival has become tough for small manufacturers due to fall in demand.

New companies have come up in Delhi, Gujarat and Punjab in competition with Agra based footwear companies.

Yunus Khan, Managing Partner, Bonno Shoes said, the Taiwanese foam entered the market two years ago, named as 'Chinese shoe.'

It was cheaper, flexible, wrinkle and spot free, and dominated the leather shoes market.

A foam pair of moccasin shoe was available for Rs150, where as an ordinary pair of leather shoes priced at Rs600.

Foam was priced two thirds the leather cost and its flexibility aided in the process of cutting and pasting.

Over 700 footwear manufacturers in Agra prefer making leather based shoes, thereby conveying rise in the demand of foam shoes was a temporary phase and later, leather shoes will again dominate the footwear scene.

These manufacturers feel that there are many drawbacks in foam shoes. It has the tendency to cause allergy and perspiration in the feet making them incompatible for hot and humid Indian conditions.

The people will soon become aware of this and would gradually turn back to the same old, dependable leather shoes, opined Khan.


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