Geox, Clarks Altering North American Business Models

Geox, the publicly traded parent of the Italian classic and comfort brand, is making changes to its operations in the U.S. and Canada in effort to improve profitability across the region. Meanwhile, iconic British shoe brand Clarks is reportedly contemplating a shift toward more direct online selling and a pared-back own retail network.

Citing a 50 percent year-over-year decline in traffic within its retail store network and difficulty negotiating new rents with landlords, Geox has reduced its own retail presence to a single store in Florida as it continues to fully operate its e-commerce and wholesale channels. In the first half of 2020, the company’s U.S. revenues declined 29 percent to the equivalent of $5.35 million and reported an operating loss of approximately $3.3 million.

In Canada, Geox has initiated a reorganization plan aimed at returning to market profitability from fewer stores and a greater focus on the e-commerce channel. In FY19, 30 Geox stores in Canada produced an operating loss equivalent to $5.5 million on total sales of approximately $38.9 million. First-half 2020 sales declined 54 percent to $8.6 million as the operating loss came in at $5.3 million.

At C&J Clark Intl., Clarks America president Gary Champion told the Boston Globe that the Waltham, MA-based unit may shutter as many as 25 percent of its 214 U.S.-owned doors by the end of 2021 as it puts a greater emphasis on selling its Wallabees, Bostonians and Desert Boots online to consumers directly in addition to its wholesale business.