The Italian brand of children's footwear has opened 60 stores in Italy and abroad over the last two years, and the store count is expected to reach 80 units by the end of 2010. Many of these stores are selling more clothing and other accessories than footwear, and they are contributing to the high visibility of the Primigi brand, which continues to do a lot of advertising.
Measuring between 200 and 250 m², the newest stores are springing up in emerging Eastern European markets such as those of Albania, Hungary and Russia. While the first 20 stores were financed by Primigi, the others have been mostly franchises.
With sales of €80 million last year, Primigi has generated a major return on the investment made by the IGI & Co. group nine years ago, when it bought a brand whose sales were stagnating at only about €10 million. Imac, the casual outdoor brand of the group contributed relatively stable revenues of €50 million last year, but its orders for the current autumn/winter season are up by about 30 percent thanks to its adoption of Gore-Tex membranes.
Overall, the IGI & Co. group has an annual turnover of around €150 million, 57 percent of which comes from outside Italy. It employs 650 people at three shoe factories in Italy and 850 at its own factories in Tunisia and Bulgaria. Working also with some 50 other contractors in Italy and elsewhere, it produces about 7 million pairs of shoes annually.