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05/07/2017 - 07:00hs

Arab buys 2,000 pairs of shoes at Brazilian fair

Company Shoe Palace did business with seven Brazilian companies in the footwear trade show taking place in São Paulo. The Arab Chamber has a spot in the fair and is providing support to importers.

Isaura Daniel/ANBA

Ghaddar (C) and directors of the Arab Chamber

São Paulo – Until early afternoon this Tuesday (4), company Shoe Palace, from Oman, had already ordered 2,000 shoe pairs at Francal, the footwear and accessories trade show taking place at Expo Center Norte, city of São Paulo. Shoe Palace’s president, Mohammad M. Ghaddar, is one of the importers attending the fair at the invitation of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and of the fair’s organization.

Ghaddar had never travelled to Brazil before and he said he was impressed with Brazilian footwear. According to him, Brazilian footwear production is not very well-known in Oman. “The shoes are good, with good price and excellent quality,” said the executive. He said he would pay double the price for footwear of the same quality in Italy.

Shoe Palace has 15 stores throughout Oman, in the capital Muscat and other regions, such as Sohar. Founded in 1976, the chain sells footwear to women, men and children, plus all types of purses. According to Ghaddar, Shoe Palace is the largest importer of men’s sandals in the Gulf.

Isaura Daniel/ANBA

The importer with employees of the brand Schultz

The company had bought Brazilian footwear once or twice near 15 years ago in a fair in Italy. Ghaddar hadn’t planned to travel to Brazil until he received a call from Mohamed Hassanein Aly, the Arab Chamber’s Market Intelligence assistant, telling him about Francal and inviting him to come take part in it.

This Tuesday afternoon, the Ghaddar still had stands to visit, but he had already closed deals with seven Brazilian companies. He was still searching for some other types of footwear, such as military ones. The company supplies the Omani armed forces.

One of the Brazilian companies Shoe Palace did business with at Francal was Arezzo, owner of brands Arezzo, Schutz, Anacapri, Alexandre Birman and Fiever.

Shoe Palace’s stores sells USD 5 million in footwear every year, says Ghaddar. The footwear sold is high-quality. Currenty, 80% of the products sold come from Italy, 10% from England and 10% from Germany.

Ghaddar told ANBA that he loved Brazil and that Brazilians are very nice. “I felt at home,” he told. The importer had the support of Arab Chamber’s Aly and business advisor João Bianchini at Francal. He also met with the Chamber’s directors Mohamad Orra Mourad, Mohamad Abdouni Neto and William Atui.

Isaura Daniel/ANBA

The Arab Chamber staff provided support to importers

The Arab Chamber has a spot within the International Lounge, in which the two employees provide support to Arab importers according to their demand. The place welcomed buyers from Kuwait, Oman, Morocco, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. According to Bianchini, the action was very effective and the importers closed deals at Francal, especially involving men’s and women’s shoes.

According to the business advisor, the Arab importers who attended the fair are from companies that already have some knowledge and experience in the market, and they came to buy. Some already import Brazilian footwear and other do not. “They really appreciated the design and the price of the Brazilian footwear,” said Bianchini.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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