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Stories of resilient companies: Interview with Alessio Berdini, Fabi Shoes eCommerce manager

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Since the Coronavirus emergency has created a new reality to be reckoned with, the Kooomo team have been working hard to stay up to date with happenings both inside and outside of the business – How are Italian eCommerce and Kooomo customers handling this emergency? How are they facing  present issues and the future of their companies? We have been discussing these questions (via Skype and zoom meetings) with our colleagues and customers. In addition to personal restrictions, each customer has to deal with a certain amount of concerns, such as employee management, new collection launches, in-store sales, promotions and events.

Fabi Boutique

Each employee and the entire Made in Italy supply chain are united by the same ambition – making people and business alike feel connected, despite differences in history, location, cultural influences and productivity.

“The current health crisis has hit us at a delicate time,” explains @Alessio Berdini, ecommerce manager of Fabi Shoes, an international witness of Made in Italy, who has been creating classy footwear for men and women since 1956. 

“Obviously,  there is no “good time” for such dramatic events to occur, but on a business level it arrived just as we were presenting the new collection online and the shops were starting to sell the same collection. So, suddenly, we found ourselves with the Italian partner stores closed and unable to sell goods with further uncertainty as to when they may re-open. The same happened with our shop in the Marche district. The plant is closed, therefore production stops, so the season is at risk of disappearing.

It will not be easy to recover, it will take innovation, clarity and preparation. It will be necessary to understand what measures to take, not only in our small way, but also together with the whole fashion system. I am pleased to report, that even in such a difficult time, our company wanted to support our home territory, by converting a branch of the company to produce medical masks that we have donated to local bodies, hospitals, rescuers and civil protection” 

Fabi Boutique

Fabi Shoes is preparing for a period of great transformation and to restart in the near future – with strong resilience and new projects in social, communication, production and digital innovation.

“We haven’t had an easy time during the pandemic, even on the eCommerce side. Since the crisis hit Italy we have encountered difficulties. The product we offer is not a product of primary necessity, but rather is linked to specific occasions, particularly celebrations and ceremony – a type of expense that is renounced in situations like this. The health emergency, followed by economic concerns, hindered us. So we clung to branding communications – discussing the origins and identity of the brand, in an attempt to feel closer to customers. We created empathic communications that have had exceptional results. This helped us to keep the business on good numbers.

When we return to go out and want to go shopping, I hope for a significant rebound – but I also expect strong competition from many competitors who will also need to recover sales and lighten the warehouses that have stood still. During this time, we have focused on some projects to have in the field for recovery, we aim to be dynamic and ready for more than one scenario. Predicting what will happen in the coming months is difficult, it will be important to be flexible and ready. “

Certainly, at this moment, there is no future certainty to rely on. The lesson that Made in Italy companies, such as Fabi Shoes, are teaching us is that in order to define the future, one must look to the past – to the origins and to the timeless value of “Less is More”.  There are numerous industries within the Made in Italy supply chain: craftsmanship, quality, customer-centric approach, innovation, digitalisation and environmental. It is time to rediscover and share the Italian experience with the world.

In line with this vocation, Fabi launched the new “Flex goodyear” footwear line, combining their craftsmanship tradition and the Flex Goodyear patent – with which the company has incorporated the historic English manufacturing of Goodyear. This footwear project embodies a self-modeling sole for an experience of flexibility and the idea of prolonged re-use that alleviates the traces of wear and tear with timeless style and elegance.

This is how Fabi puts the Less is More approach into action. Calling upon the society, once  hungry for consumerism, to reinvent itself – from design to purchase, to reuse – in the name of greater social, environmental and cultural responsibility.

See you next story! Stay tuned

Jennifer Puzzo, Head of Client Service of Italy

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