The crisis has put a damper on Geox's finances, which closed 2012 with billings and profits in decline, respectively 807 and 10 million euros. But Mario Moretti Polegato, founder, controlling shareholder and idea man behind the "shoe that breathes" has not lost hope and is striking back.
With the opening of new stores, 100 in China alone within the current year, and with gas pedal pressed to the floor for investment in new technologies. The car analogy is not accidental, because in the 1,200 retail outlets of this Veneto-based group, Xense has arrived, the new shoe developed together with the Red Bull team, Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel and his no. 2, Mark Webber.
A super-light shoe that "breathes" even in the cockpit where temperatures reach 60°C (140°F) and a driver can sweat off up to 2 liters, plus the shoe is fire-resistant, in conformity with automobile federation requirements. "Continually investing in innovation is the only way to retain market competitiveness and, for us, Formula 1 is an extraordinary laboratory," commented Moretti Polegato during the tests in Barcelona. "We have always and will continue to invest, even more concertedly in this difficult period. But I like to think that this could be an example for all Italian companies who are going through a very tough time and need to find the strength to invest."