This project looked into the attitude of consumers towards locally made shoes in Onitsha Anambra. The problems involved in this study was that the shoe industry does not seem to yield much needed efforts with respect to huge sacrifices of the manufacturers as well as the government. This is true in the sense that most of the viable shoe industries are almost at the verge of liquidation.
The following hypotheses were stated in other to achieve the object of the study.
Ho: That the quality of made in Nigeria shoes has no influence on the consumers purchase of it.
Hi: That the quality of made in Nigeria shoes influence on the consumer’s purchase of it.
Ho: Presence of foreign shoes in Nigeria does not affect sales of locally made shoes.
Hi: Presence of foreign shoes in Nigeria affect sales of locally made shoes.
Some of the finding in the research are that the presence of foreign shoes in the Nigerian market affect sales of locally made shoes and also that consumers perceive the price of locally made shoes to be high in relation to their foreign competing brands.
Based on the above findings, the researcher concludes that the acceptance of locally made shoes is generally not encouraging within our society and this is because consumers still regard them as being highly prices compared to the foreign shoes.
From the above conclusion, the researcher recommended the following for improvement. The researcher recommends that the importation of foreign shoes into our domestic market should be banned and also that our local manufacturers should try as much as possible to improve on their production so as to attract numerous consumers.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In Nigerian, shoes have become one of the many principle products in the market, even in the biggest market so far in West Africa (Onitsha main market).
Shoes are also among the priority products consumed by every one; hence the market is a growing one. With the restrictors on the importation of foreign shoes, the industry has a wider market to cover. It is true in the sense that in addition to serving its former customers, it has to delve into extend hands these segments of the market, that were previously served by foreign shoes.
It becomes obvious at this juncture to observe that shoes, has various market opportunities. It segmented the way it will please customers, like we have infant market for shoes, youths market as well as adult market for shoes. With the increase in birth rate resulting to more infant and youths respectively within the economy this market continues to grow in order.
Historically, the marketing of shoes was not an easy job. This was because a seller has to identify the individual that needed shoes and incidentally the buyer on his own part ought to have what the shoe seller wanted as well. This was the period of barter characterized by the exchange of goods for goods and services. The markets themselves not organized in retarded, the extent of demand for shoes because people could not find it every easy in locating the shoes sellers with their product.
However, with the introduction of monetary system the various markets became organized and more formed as opposed to what was previously obtainable. This resulted in increase in demand for products including shoes because this time around, traders have definite area for definite products and some people bought impulsively due to the way the product were displayed because there was no promotion of any kind. The extent of the market growth attracted competitions owned chains, many chains of single. Line stores owned and operated by manufacturers.
These chains were responsible for the business done by all shoe stores. Furthermore, franchised dealer ship emerged. A franchise dealer runs a single-line store that does all its purchasing from sponsoring manufacturers or wholesalers in return for the use of a well known name like that of “BATA” or “UTC”.
In order to compete seriously with independent retailer, some traders engaged themselves in scrambled merchanding. In this regard, they scramble shoes-adding shoes to unrelated products because shoe business was progressive.
Besides, during these periods, the marketing strategy was mainly that of achieving presently, this strategy has been supplemented by the use of billboards, signpost and sponsorship of contents.
However, the industries were self-financed by part placed ban on foreign shoes in order to encourage local manufacturers.
Despite the ban on importation of foreign shoe, the government has also instituted other measures to help the local manufacturers progress. Such measures includes: Tax exception granted to them unwarranted loans, industries technical services, service grants and subsidies, provision of import licenses as well as export promotion and advisory services units. In view of these efforts of both the manufacturers and the government to help local industries grow, the industries seem not to achieve its stated objectives. It then became necessary to study the attitudes of consumers with regard to these locally made shoes.
STATE OF THE PROBLEM
Having known that shoes is one of the priority products that is virtually consumed by everyone alike in any given economy. It has a wider market as it has many consumers to sere irrespective of size and location.
However, one thing is certain. The industry does not seem to yield much needed effort with respect to huge sacrifices of the manufacturers as well as the government. This is true in the sense that most of the verge of liquidation. For instance, a source disclosed that BATA, which originally produces ten million (10,000,00) shoes annually last four years, now produces less than half of that capacity. In Kano Gagand Alhari shoes, makers of snakeskin shoes now produce forty-five shoes weekly as opposed to previous two thousand units weekly.
In Onitsha, Chuberg Shoes Ltd has even laid off fifty employees. The company could no longer cope with two thousand, three hundred and twenty units against fifty thousand unit that were previously produced. It is therefore on this vein that the researcher is bent on conducting a study on this issue to identify attitudes of consumers towards locally made shoes and possibly the factors responsible for them. Furthermore, knowledge of consumer attitudes may provide a sound basis for improving, redesigning and developing the product as well as evaluating promotional programmes.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The present economic predicament facing the Nigerian economy has not augured well for the local manufacturers. This ugly situation has been blamed on so many factors of which the most serious is the attitude of Nigerian towards locally made products.
The shoe industries not being an exception have suffered the same predicament. This situation is affecting the country economy entirely. In view of this therefore the researcher is expected to;
1) Find out factors that influence the attitude of Nigerian shoes consumers.
2) See whether this distribution and promotion strategies adapted by local shoes manufacturers affect sales of shoes made in Nigeria.
3) To find out if the presence of foreign shoes in Nigeria market affect sale of locally made shoes.
4) Make appropriate recommendation that will be beneficial to local manufacturers generally and shoes industry in particular based on the findings.
5) To know whether the Nigeria made shoes are inferior in relation to their foreign competing brands.
STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS
Within the framework of the above objectives, the following hypothesis has been put forward.
Ho: That the quality of made in Nigeria shoes has no influence on the purchase of it.
H1: Presence of foreign shoes in Nigeria markets does not affect sales of locally made shoes.
H2: Presence of foreign shoes in Nigeria markets affect sales of locally made shoes.
H3: Social classes (Assumed or real) to which consumers belong do not influence their desire for locally made shoes.
H4: Social classes (Assumed or real) to which consumers belong influence their desire for locally made shoes.
SCOPE/LIMITATION OF STUDY
The project was carried out in Onitsha consisting of Onitsha north and Onitsha South.
Beside, the study centered on individual or person of at least fifteen (15) yeas of age and above, living and operating in Onitsha.
A lot of limitations stood against this project and need of course be spelt out. The limitations are the time, which was insufficient to enable me, carry out more detailed job. During the course of the research, the researcher was faced with writing his degree exam and carrying out this research.
Finance was another limitation in this project. The money required to travel to where the project was carried out was also insufficient. Risk was another limitation because the researcher has to travel from his school down to where the project was carried out and this involved a lot of risk.
Finally, workers in the company were uncooperative. Some would not want to attend to the researcher and the managers were always busy and the researcher has to wait for many hours before seeing the required people.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The shoe industry is one of the major sectors of the economy that facilitates economic development within a given entity. This could be justified by taking cognizance of the following.
It helps to provide gainful employment to the citizenry. Through exportation, it generates enough revenue for national development and consequently helps to conserve out foreign exchange reserves.
It acts are a protective device to consumer against foot injuries and also beautifies the feet. However, by not patronizing the locally made shoes, one should be expecting to see the shortcoming of the shoe industry or unemployment syndrome that has been currently rooting deep into the fabrics of the society.
On the other hand, the insistences on the purchase of foreign shoes will not only reduce our balance of payment position but may also result to the depreciation of our national currency.
In addition, consideration the federal government policy programmes that de-emphasized on the production consumption, and possibly exportation of locally made shoes. It therefore becomes imperative or inevitable to study the attitude of consumers towards made-in Nigeria shoes with a view to revitalizing the shoe industry entirely.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COMPANY
CHUBERG Shoes Nigeria Limited is a Nigeria private company. It was incorporated in Onitsha in the early 80’s as one of the private shoes companies. In late 1980, the company started acquiring over a large part of the business of shoes. Presently, the company operates within five other sates in the federation providing employment of labour in the shoe firms.
From Onitsha, the headquarters comes the overall guidance and coordination of the company as a whole providing frantic work within which each division operates. Also in Onitsha are the various central service that are necessary for the support as well being other sub-office, it handled finance account and audit, legal, personnel, public relation and training to mention but a few.
The product covered by CHUBERG are many among which includes Cover-shoes, Sandals, Slippers for all sizes that means both for adult and children even ladies handbag and belt are parts of CHUBERG’S products.
Moreover, despite all the fall in purchase of locally made shoes in early 80’s due to free movement of foreign goods especially during civilian regime so many turn to foreign product hence the price were equivalent to local ones, which include shoes but when military look over the boundaries were totally closed. After that, many people immediately turned to locally made shoes and other products because of its high and scarcity of foreign goods. These were some of the reasons, with gave birth to the high demand for locally made shoes in the market nowadays.
Since, there is heavy improvement in the shoes markets, the company receives technical assistance from Germany Shoe Industry, Italian Shoes Industry especially in the area of the improved production process and equipment research into new raw material, constant quality assurance and for innovation for marketing technique.
The company has contributed immensely to the nation’s development in the area of taxation, duties, employment etc.