MILAN — Geox is exalting its high-tech, innovative spirit to attract younger customers.During a press conference held Tuesday at the company’s showroom in central Milan, the Italian company unveiled its latest store concept, which has already made its debut on Milan’s Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Rome’s Via del Corso and in London’s Covent Garden, Toronto and Kuala Lumpur. Thirty additional stores will be refurbished with the concept by the end of the year.“One of the goals of this new concept is to help us better communicate the different technologies and product categories we have been developing during the last years,” said Geox founder Mario Moretti Polegato, highlighting that the company holds 35 patents for high-tech solutions, with a focus on footwear.Designed to offer a sustainable take on interior design, which is reflected in the use of natural materials such as wood, terra-cotta tiles and carpets crafted from up-cycled fishnets, the concept exalts the sense of breathability that characterizes the brand’s footwear offering. In particular, the main door features the perforated details that appear on the soles of the shoes. Ceiling fans spread scents through the rooms.In keeping with an omnichannel strategy, the concept includes touchscreen displays where customers can go through the whole product offering and also buy the collections online in the venue. A service enables customers to have their purchases directly shipped to their personal addresses.In addition, the refurbished stores offer free WiFi and charging stations for mobile phones and tablets.According to Moretti Polegato, the company will invest 15 million euros, or $16.6 million, to revamp its stores with the concept. This sum corresponds to 50 percent of the company’s annual budget allocated to innovation.In order to find an always better balance between style and innovation, Geox also tapped footwear designer Ernesto Esposito, who previously worked at Salvatore Ferragamo and Sergio Rossi, to launch a women’s capsule collection for the fall 2017 season. “Then we will introduce a bigger collection for summer [with Esposito],” said Moretti Polegato. At the same time, the company will work to expand its outerwear business.Geox, which operates 1,134 monobrand stores and sells its collections in 10,000 multibrand boutiques, ended 2016 with revenues of 900 million euros, or $990 million at average exchange rate, up 3.5 percent compared to the previous year.
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