Geox said the Russian and Chinese markets showed signs of recovery in the fourth quarter, with positive like-for-like sales performance, while the direct e-commerce channel continues to record significant growth; up 41% for full 2020 and 44% for the fourth quarter. Sales in Europe, representing 46.8% of Group revenues, amounted to €250.3 million (-27.3%) in 2020, when a rationalisation of the store network saw the net closure of 24 stores, equal to 9% of the network. North America recorded a turnover of €24.8 million in the 2020, down 46.4% year-on-year, while China, Hong Kong and Macau recorded a 40.2% decline. Eastern Europe saw a 22.5% decrease in Geox sales to €101.3 million.

The company said it approved a strategic redefinition of its direct distribution network, aimed at integrating physical and digital channels. The physical store network is to undergo a rationalisation process based on geographical area, with the closure of around 110 stores over three years. According to Geox, these closures will involve smaller and less profitable stores that are at the end of their life cycle, as well as a number of stores where the level of rent is no longer deemed to be in line with the current economic context. The company said it will further boost its digital presence by opening an e-commerce website in Russia, “by entering the marketplaces of leading players in Europe and North America in a structured way and by strengthening its position on digital platforms in China”.