After its impressive success reached with the distribution of the Anatomic Gel line of comfort shoes for men all over Europe, this rather special English-based distribution company has started to tackle the distribution of two much bigger Brazilian companies, Piccadilly and West Coast, in selected European markets.

Ghetz has been appointed as the new distributor of Piccadilly's synthetic shoes for the U.K., Germany, France and Italy. It has also started to handle sales of West Coast's casual shoes in the U.K. and Germany, where the line was previously distributed by Rohde and by Globo Cariñhoso. For the French and Belgian markets, West Coast has decided to work with Terra Brazil, the former distributor of Havaianas in France.

Ghetz has also opened a company in Miami to distribute Anatomic Gel in the U.S. market, where it previously had the status of an agent. Like in Europe, where it runs a very effective stock program, it now has a permanent inventory of selected styles that allows retailers to reorder small quantities whenever they need them.

This great service, combined with the high quality of the cushioning and development of 95 percent of its Anatomic Gel styles of men's shoes on stock specifically for European customers, has led Ghetz to reach sales of more than 200,000 pairs under this brand this year throughout Europe. The biggest market is still the U.K., followed by Germany and France.

While hiring four new agents for the Nordic countries, Ghetz has also started to sell an embryonic line of comfortable women's shoes for the spring/summer 2011 season, which has triggered a pretty good initial response. While producing 2,000 pairs of men's shoes daily at its three factories in Brazil, Anatomic Gel is subcontracting the women's line to two other plants.

For Ghetz, the acquisition of the distribution of Piccadilly and West Coast is a major step into a new dimension. These two Brazilian suppliers are much bigger: Piccadilly produces 50,000 pairs a day, while West Coast makes 10,000 pairs a day, and both companies are expanding their production. For the time being, all the styles offered by Ghetz in Europe come from the main collections of the two companies, which already have a presence in many other foreign countries.

Piccadilly has an export ratio of 30 percent, with a presence in 80 different countries. This 55-year-old company, which was working until ten years ago as a contractor for the likes of Wal-Mart and Payless ShoeSource, has managed to establish its own brand. Using high-quality materials imported from Italy, it has been able to increase its exports this year in spite of a 30 percent increase in average selling prices.

At the recent Francal show in Sao Paulo, Piccadilly presented its first line for girls and a wider range of biodegradable shoes. West Coast showed a casual shoe weighing only 200 grams and featuring a new shock absorption system.

Because of the high value of the Brazilian real and the international economic crisis, West Coast's export ratio declined from 28 to 25 percent in the past couple of years, but the company reported a 51 percent increase in its foreign deliveries so far this year and a doubling in forward orders from abroad.