Luxury brands are still suffering at the hand of counterfeiters and a study has shown the extent of the fake goods industry on the Italian accessories market is costing companies nearly 400 million euros per year. The impact of counterfeiting on Italian footwear and eyewear with the biggest threat to thesectors coming from the development of e-commerce that has allowed counterfeiters in China and Asia generally to become more organised and reach a wider audience.
Accessories and eyewear the hardest hit
It is estimated that between 190m-240 million euros is lost to the Italian footwear industry annually by counterfeits while 100m-150 million euros is lost to the eyewear sector.
The study was funded by several government official bodies in Italy and was put together by Convey, an IPR specialist. Convey looked at 54 footwear and 57 eyewear brands, examining their pricing, the incidence of fakes online, the web environments that those fakes can be found in and more.
The main conclusion was that most of the websites offering fake products originated in China or other Asian countries with 73 percent of counterfeit shoes and 54 percent of counterfeit eyewear coming from that region when looking at B2C websites.
At a presentation in Rome this week, the Ministry of Economic Development and the organisation representing eyewear makers said such activity threatens the entire Italian economy and undermines the Made In Italy image.
The footwear and eyewear sectors were selected for the study because they are among the worst affected by counterfeiting. But the wider fashion and accessories sector is also a major target for fake goods.
The value of counterfeits seized by the authorities across jewellery, leathergoods, fur, footwear and eyewear in 2012 alone was 208 million euros with seizures over the last five years adding up to just short of 2 billion euro.
Image: Prada label