Four Italian Cases
S. Sciascia This chapter presents the case study of Geox, a manufacturing company located in the area of Montebelluna that specialises in footwear. The aim of this chapter is to describe the entrepreneurial growth process of the firm, setting it within the context of the sector and the industrial district and presenting the economic-financial consequences of this growth. The chapter is thus divided into four sections: the footwear sector; the footwear manufacturing district of Montebelluna; the history of Geox; and the performances of Geox. 6.1. 6.1.1. THE FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY The Market and the Industry at European Level The footwear industry is now a mature one in Europe. The companies working in the industry share a market, that has become very fragmented, and focus mainly on cost and differentiation strategies to achieve margins which are becoming smaller and smaller. The situation has been made worse by the advent of globalisation, which has more or less overturned the whole world economy in the last few years. The larger firms, with superior managerial and entrepreneurial skills, have managed to seize opportunities for development, such as locating production in areas of the world where labour costs are low. On the other hand, the smaller firms find it difficult to survive and many have been forced to abandon the sector. Table 6.1 compares the results in terms of production, exports and imports of footwear in Europe from 2002 to 2005. As can be seen, there was a fall in production, substantial stability in exports and...
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