Lemonis has obtained a master franchise to open Geox mono-brand stores in the country. The plan calls for 17 Geox stores to be opened by this leading Greek retailer of upmarket footwear by 2010.

The first is opening now in Athens with a selling surface of about 60 square meters, but the stores that will open afterward will be larger since they will also offer apparel. There are already three franchised Geox stores in Greece, which will be supplied by Lemonis. Another four stores are to be opened before the end of the summer, and three more before the end of the year.

While Lemonis will take care of this mono-brand retail network, the wholesale business of Geox in Greece will remain in the hands of Alsinco, a distributor that also runs Shooz stores and sells Merrell, Cat, Lumberjack, Bunker and Levi’s footwear.

Lemonis is among the largest shoe retailers in Greece with a network of more than 60 stores. The flagship Kalogirou concept is a multi-brand men and women’s footwear banner selling luxury brands such as YSL, Prada, Donna Karan, Fendi and many more. Acquired in 1999, the Haralas chain has a somewhat more accessible mix of brands from Beverly Feldman to DKNY, Camper and Converse.

The Lemonis group is also the licensee for several shoe brands and retail concepts. It started in 1999 with Nine West, while Tod’s was added in 2001. Salvatore Ferragamo came along in 2005, quickly followed by Dolce & Gabbana the next year. Several other such agreements are in the works, as part of the Greek company’s strategy to expand its store network to about 120 units and to increase its sales to about €180 million in Greece, Cyprus and neighboring Balkan countries by 2012.

Along with its retail concepts, Lemonis operates a network of outlet stores called All About Shoes & Fashion, which should comprise 11 shops by the end of the year. A third division deals with wholesaling, and a fourth business unit was recently set up to deal with the management of shoe floors at various department stores.