The growing problem of counterfeit footwear

A recent report by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and EU’s (European Union’s) Intellectual Property Office states that the footwear industry is one of the worst hit by counterfeiting. Some of the popular footwear brands affected by counterfeiting are Nike, Adidas, Sketchers, Reebok, Asics etc. Surprisingly, fake footwear represented 22% of the overall share of counterfeited and pirated goods seized in the year 2016.

Consumers these days have become highly fashion conscious however not everyone can afford costly branded items. In order to satisfy their hunger for brands without spending enough money, consumers knowingly buy counterfeit products. Purchasing counterfeit items is illegal and buyers of counterfeit products violate the intellectual property rights of the brands.

Counterfeiting becomes totally unacceptable when the consumers are unknowingly duped into buying fakes. It is quite tough to differentiate between genuine and fake products. With the growth of online portals, it has become easier to sell counterfeit products. This is because a consumer cannot examine the product physically to assess the genuineness of the product. Counterfeiters also utilise renowned sites to sell fake products.

According to a report, global footwear market was valued at approximately USD 246.07 billion in 2017 and is expected to generate revenue of around USD 320.44 billion by the end of 2023, growing at a CAGR of around 4.5% between 2017 and 2023.

With an enormous market for the footwear industry in the coming years, it is quite likely that counterfeiters will try their best to eat the profits of genuine companies. Counterfeit footwear may satiate your urge for branded goods, but they wear out, may cause injury or accident and many times lead to high monetary loss. Besides this, counterfeit footwear leads to loss of profits, drop down in the reputation of a brand and most importantly leads to unemployment.

Counterfeit footwear can be curbed with the help of effective regulatory measures, use of anti-counterfeiting technologies and most importantly by spreading awareness among consumers related to fake footwear products.