A leading brand in the international lifestyle footwear segment, the success of Geox is built on the constant focus and application of innovative solutions and technologies that guarantee quality and comfort. In this interview RLI speaks with Mario Moretti Polegato, Founder of Geox about how the company has operated in extraordinary circumstances and what lies ahead.
The Geox mission is to offer solutions that improve the experience of consumers. The essence of the corporate vision has been studied and developed to permeate all of the brand’s creations, transferring technologies from shoes to clothing collections in recent times, allowing its outerwear products to benefit from the company’s fundamental value of breathability.
A major player in the footwear market in the medium-high price bracket range, the company’s innovations are protected by as many as 40 different patents. Founded in Italy, it has always had global ambition and over 70 per cent of its revenue is generated in international markets. At the end of last year, Geox operated 10,000 multi-brand stores and 867 single-brand stores worldwide in more than 100 countries.
“Inevitably, the pandemic has impacted the business due to the high percentage of stores that were closed during the lockdowns,” explains Mario Moretti Polegato, Founder of Geox. “However, we are seeing a solid growth in markets no longer affected by temporary closures and an even stronger growth in the direct e-commerce channel. We are therefore optimistic about a return to sustainable growth once the
Polegato feels the pandemic has affected the whole fashion industry in a very significant way and that no company in the sector can be said to have been lucky. He explains that the important thing was that Geox had the ability to promptly react and remain a solid business, even from a financial point of view.
During the past 18 turbulent months, Geox have launched and re-launched stores in three strategic metropolitan cities. A new store that was entirely dedicated to children’s footwear collections was inaugurated in the Mega Teply Stan Mall shopping centre in Russia, whilst the most important X-Store in the UAE reopened at the Dubai Mall and finally the largest of the 92 Geox stores in France reopened at the end of last year on Rue de Rivoli in the heart of the Parisian Right Bank.
“In terms of expansion, we are already present in five continents and very relevant in Europe. We are looking with great interest in markets like Russia and China where we are increasing our presence and experiencing solid growth. Eastern Europe and North America, particularly Canada, will be important markets for us going forward,” Polegato explains.
The onset of Covid-19 has accelerated a change in consumption between online and offline, and Geox has maintained its close relationship with its customers by continuing to improve both its digital and physical experiences, which continue to be
No longer constructed and designed as simple points of sale, Geox stores are being transformed into authentic territorial hubs and are catalysts of a range of services and places that create engaging and memorable experiences. They are also working on a new loyalty program that will allow a two-way form of communication between the brand and consumers.
This communication is no better reflected than through its social media content that is purposefully thought out to keep customers engaged with their brand values and new products. The brand wants to share its vision and build trust among consumers to build increased consideration and intention
“The recent investment plan undertaken by our brand is focused on omni-channel, a substantial development of the services offered and a clear improvement in performance. The results of this meant that in 2020 Geox became one of the ten best companies operating in Italy according to the Customer Experience Excellence study conducted by KPMG,”
Thanks to the new features that have been introduced, the site now integrates perfectly with the network of Geox stores around the world, the traditional meeting points for consumers who are more attentive to style and comfort.
“Today they are offered the possibility not only to choose and buy online from the complete range of Geox products, but also to receive them in the nearest store, where they can even place orders online.”
The philosophy of the business is to offer well-being, and Polegato feels that customers look for beautiful things that stand the test of time. The company differentiate themselves by keeping their prices stable by investing in product, functionality, quality and style.
“We are committed to ensuring that our production processes are not only innovative, but also sustainable and carried out in full respect of the health and safety of workers and ecosystems.”
Geox has always been focused on interpreting market needs in advance and then offering ad hoc solutions.
“These are the pillars of Geox, we are constantly investing in the store network, furthering innovations in our digital output, technology and creativity; but also in the permanent training of staff amidst our continuing focus on sustainability. These are never separated from our ethics and this will not change in the years to come,” Polegato concludes.