Leather is a tactile material and it is often said in the industry that it must be seen in person and felt to be understood, particularly when it comes to understanding quality and comparisons.

In the survey, the number of tanners who said they are set up to sell leather online or via e-commerce platforms fell from 29% in 2022 to 21% in 2023. Meanwhile, those saying they had plans to invest in an e-commerce presence dropped from 33% to 31%.

Despite the pandemic forcing all industries to move to an online-first mentality until lockdowns lifted, and consider the benefits of e-commerce, tanners have shied away from this development.

With the return of trade shows, and the support for these shown in the survey results, it’s clear that the leather industry remains focused on in-person business.

The full results of the 2023 Tanner Business Confidence Survey are available now on the website for all ILM subscribers, including more information from tanners on which trade shows they prioritise as well as a range of other data and hot button issues.

Subscribe to ILM today to access the full results as well as the latest leather industry news, technical and legislative updates, thought leadership and much more.