Geox shoes unveils major UK offensive

Italian-based shoe brand Geox is planning a major assault on the UK fashion market next year, backed by a major press and television campaign to break in late spring.

The brand opened an outlet in London last year but plans to open a store in every major UK city. It is already scouting for sites in upmarket areas of Manchester and Liverpool. It is also developing its presence in the US and expects to open a store in New York next March.

Geox marketing director Eros Scattolin says the brand sold 6.5 million pairs of shoes this year and aims to increase the number to 10 million pairs a year. He adds that it invested E29m (£20m) in global marketing this year and plans to spend at least ten per cent of its turnover on marketing every year. Geox achieved a turnover of E180m (£126m) in 2002 and forecasts this will rise to E250m (£175m) for this year.

Geox offers both formal and casual ranges and all of its shoes have a perforated rubber sole that allows air into the shoe without allowing moisture inside. The patented membrane aims to keep feet cool and hygienic, and to prevent foot odour. The brand was launched in Italy eight years ago.

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