Saturday, September 26, 2020

The big business of shoes

As absurd as it may sound, ‘the recession is wearing off ‘.

Well, that’s at least according to what the experts who ‘know’ better than all of us have to say. Inevitably, as a result of this news, the usual predictions have started flying out, with reports of the various expected percentage growth forecasts for America’s Wall Street, London’s stock exchange and China’s economy doing the rounds already.

Even right here in Botswana, who can blame the diamond mining company, Debswana, for becoming a bit bullish, predicts a positive outlook in diamond sales in the near future?

However, if events in the world are anything to go by, one would say that our financial gurus have yet again failed to monitor current events and make realistic predictions. After all, we still hold them guilty of failing to tell the world in advance of the looming danger of the economic recession before it hit.

What the gurus have failed to predict is that the big business of the day will be the shoe business.
Yes, that’s right, women’s favourite pastime of buying shoes will inevitably be on the rise globally.
From record sales in boots, moccasins, stilettos to sneakers, shoe purchases are set to balloon worldwide and women will not be the only ones buying shoes, men too!

Consider that last year alone, 25 million pairs of Converse shoes were sold in the US, with expectations for this year at a 100 million pairs! That’s before we even get into big brand names such as Nike, Adidas and Reebok that have a huge global appeal.

Are you roughly getting the picture now?

Clearly, the increase in shoe sales will not be in so much because the world wants to look stylish, far from it, but because shoes lay the bedrock for a booming practice. The practice of shoe-throwing!!
As with any successful enterprise, due credit must go to the Iraqi journalist, Muntadhar al Zaidi, who inaugurally launched the practice on then American president George Bush in December 2008. The Turkish company, Ramazan Baydan, which manufactured Zaidi’s shoe thrown at Bush, experienced a surge in sales after the incident. Orders for 300,000 pairs were received in just 1 week!

With more shoe-throwing incidents happening, the big business of shoes is nothing more than a sign that a boom is headed our way! A similar event took place earlier this month when the International Monetary Fund’s director, Dominic Strauss-Khan, had a sneaker hauled at him by a student journalist, Sel├ºuk ├ûzbek, as Strauss-Khan spoke in Istanbul, Turkey.

While shoe-throwing has been identified mainly with the Arab world as a way of protest, who says one cannot turn it into a full-fledged business? With so much to protest against in the world, it only makes sense to stock up significantly on shoes and show one’s disapproval via the shoes.
It’s so much better than either using guns or machetes to protest. Shoe-throwing is bloodless and powerful.

After all, governments the world over have used the excuse of protests by citizens turning violent as an excuse to ‘fight fire with fire’ and mercilessly crush opposition by force. How would governments retaliate against citizens that haul shoes in protest?
Shoe for shoe perhaps.

Anyways, one cannot help but marvel at the sheer foresightedness of a particular neighbouring first lady who is famed for going on shoe-shopping sprees in Spain, Italy and France. The delectable first lady deserves the name of ‘Shoe Lady’ as her collection of the finest in Versace, Gucci and Armani shoes is out of this world.

Surely, with the number of shoes in her wardrobe, I am convinced that should she join the shoe-throwing practice no one would beat her. Rumour has it that at her residence, once in a while she hauls a shoe or two at her servants in anger should they not do things according to her wishes.
What a dis-Grace!

A more responsible approach would be if she were to haul a shoe or two at her dictator husband in protest at his oppression and the killing of innocent people. History would forever remember that one noble deed and exonerate her from her own shortcomings.
Of course, record sales would shoot over the roof for the shoe company that she uses to launch her protest. So please Versace, Armani and Gucci ask your client to throw a shoe.

Everyone will stand to benefit, who knows she might win a Nobel Peace Prize for her act and, of course, there would be big business for shoes!

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