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Business trends

Philippines' shoe industry has a new spring in its step

Metro Manila's Marikina revives with help from net-savvy salespeople

Former first lady Imelda Marcos, the Philippines' best-known lover of shoes, has her own section at the Marikina Footwear Museum in Metro Manila.   © Reuters

MANILA -- Marikina, a city in Metro Manila, was once known as Southeast Asia's leading center for shoemaking. The industry fell into decline with the arrival of cheaper Chinese shoes two decades ago, but there are signs of a revival as internet-savvy entrepreneurs breathe new life into the business.

One pioneer is Marquina Shoemaker. Located in a Manila residential area, its shop has an unobtrusive facade that hardly attracts notice on weekdays. But on weekends, it buzzes with customers. The shop sells about 150 pairs of shoes a month, priced at an average of 5,200 Philippine pesos ($99).

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