What were the effects of the pandemic on your business? Have there been any changes from the pre-Covid period?
2020 was an unusual year, which provided guarantees to businesses that had invested financial resources over the years in the development of technologies and materials applied to products. Our 2020 turnover was in line with the previous year, despite the months of lockdown, which hit the different geographic areas where we work. 2021 immediately gave signs of a positive trend, and safety has become a critical factor.
Did you introduce changes to your portal in reply to the new needs connected to the current situation?
E-commerce was always an important touch point, which we could use to reach consumers even before the lockdown. Our consumers have the immediate need to understand what PPE is right for the jobs they do, and for this reason, we have created a special section for intended use, one for technologies, and one for certifications.
Which of your footwear models are the most in-demand?
In footwear, we recorded an extraordinary performance with the Glove family – which also includes the new Glove MDS line – and Run Net Airbox, the latest products in our footwear proposal. In apparel, the clothes featuring the Breathing System by Geox technology recorded optimum sales results, thanks to the mix of technology and style characterising this line. 2021 instead sees different new entries appear in our catalogue: there’s the debut of the Cross project, with a line of dedicated apparel and the Cross Country and Cross Sport lines of footwear, which take their inspiration from the outdoor world. Glove Eco is another important project of the collection this year, and a further step forward towards a sustainable approach in the Diadora Utility collections. In terms of sustainability, another important step has been made with the use of GOTS certified organic cotton (Certified ICEA nr. GOTS 2019-057) also in our 100% cotton Utility polo shirts. Other important innovations will become part of our collection in the second half of the year.
What aspects of footwear are considered the most important by consumers today when compared to the past (price, durability, lightness, look, etc.)?
As I said, the qualitative aspect from a number of standpoints becomes rewarding. Today, the combination of lightness, breathability, and cushioning is fundamental for workers in search of total comfort in their PPE. The look, even if it not a critical factor behind the choice, is any case very much appreciated. Our shoes, thanks to the constant influence of the Diadora athletic world, resemble sneakers a lot, and this distinguishes us from all other players on the market.
Are there specific areas on your website aimed at improving the sales experience and offering an excellent ‘shopping experience’?
Our entire site is aimed at constantly improving the purchasing experience: from the identification of the correct PPE in accordance with specific needs or the job done by the end user, all the way up to videos that emotionally engage users. This sector is in constant evolution and so are the tools we can use in it.
In your company strategy, are there products or capsule collections conceived and sold only online?
By choice, our entire Utility collection is sold both online and offline.
Do there exist or do you think there might exist in the future customisation services for the products proposed?
In January 2021, we launched a customisation service for workwear, and Utility clothing can be directly customised through us by using a fast and streamlined service that allows the company in question to have the uniforms directly delivered to their distributor of choice. The service offered replies to an increasingly clear need of the market, where standing out with an externally visible presence is synonymous with professionalism.
How do you think the PPE market will change in the near future?
In recent months, the market has been characterised by a positive trend, driven by anti-Covid-19 PPE. The pandemic has generated and will generate different changes, like greater awareness of risk by workers and accordingly a constant search for personal safety, but also greater attention by companies to the identification of serious and reliable partners, with an attentive eye to their budgets. I believe the balancing of these two forces will determine the success of both companies and brands.