During the last 12 months, the Elche footwear company Pikolinos has removed its organization to undertake a restructuring that will allow it to recover its billing for the penultimate registered financial year and consolidate its national and international presence. After the departure last January of its CEO, Manel Jadraque, the second generation of the founding family, the Perán brothers (Juan Manuel, Rosana and Carolina), with 100% of the shares in their hands, has taken the lead of the company. A change that, according to Juanma Perán, current CEO, has not been as abrupt as it might seem. “The family has been linked to different departments of the company for more than a decade. With the departure of Jadraque, we have achieved a flatter organization chart that will allow us to carry out this restructuring in a more agile way, and not starting from scratch, as if an external person had entered, ”he says.
After this change in management, the company has just launched a three-year strategic plan to strengthen its commercial activity in Spain and abroad. No investment data reported on this plan, with it Pikolinos wants to reach a sales figure of 130 million euros in 2023, similar to that of two years ago [su año fiscal es irregular]estimated at 128 million and with an operating result of 11.9 million, 1% less than the previous year.
After two years of the pandemic, the financial year that has just ended [que va de mayo de 2021 a abril de 2022], and for which it has not presented figures yet, the company expects a 30% drop over the previous one. It expects to record between 107 and 110 million euros of turnover. “It is still positive. There is a turnaround in the market trend, especially internationally. Some countries such as those in northern Europe are somewhat slowed down, but there are others with strong growth expectations such as the United States, where forecasts speak of increases above the pre-pandemic level”, explains the businessman. A term this last that, he points out, “I want to put aside”.
The shoemaker from Elche intends to undertake its growth organically. “For now we have no plans to buy. We still have a high capacity for growth by ourselves. There is no need to take a larger group photograph,” says Perán.
With a staff of 600 employees, its bet goes through the consolidation of the national and international markets. In Spain, where 25% of the company’s sales are based, its challenge is to position itself among the three leading brands by volume, shares and visibility. “It is our most solid market, it is number one and where we have invested a lot,” says the manager. A condition that, for the moment, and after the recent opening of two establishments in Barcelona, does not imply plans for new openings, according to Perán.
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
Outside of Spain, Pikolinos is in more than 60 countries, from where 75% of its income comes. A volume that does not seem like a compelling argument to expand its points of sale across the border. “For now the company is not looking for new locations, unless there is an opportunity,” says the CEO. Its objective is focused on growing, above all, in its main clients: France, China, Mexico, Germany and the United States. “We believe that in these five countries we still have room to increase sales, but without new openings, although you never know. We could do it in France, where we are closer, or in Mexico, where we have recently opened a franchise. The latter market in which we want to consolidate ourselves as a Spanish brand”, he points out.
An objective that, as the Pikolinos executive explains, does not leave aside the rest of his destinations. “We take care of all the countries, such as Australia, where we are growing at a good pace and where we have been present for more than 15 years.”
In its production center in Elche of more than 5,000 square meters, which they have called Pikokaizen, the company follows the Japanese business philosophy Kaizen or continuous improvement. has developed a software to increase productivity in all footwear manufacturing processes and has favored sustainable production. In fact, Pikolinos is one of the pioneering Spanish footwear brands to receive the ecological certificate and its natural treatment of the leather with water-based dyes and solvent-free glues are some of its hallmarks.
In its plant in Alicante, 40% of the company’s production is manufactured, which adds up, in total, to some two million pairs of shoes per year. The remaining 60% originates from the four subcontracted factories that are divided between Portugal, China, Morocco and India.
The company, which markets its production under two banners, Pikolinos and Martinelli, has the first as its standard-bearer, which accounts for between 85% and 90% of sales. While its second brand, acquired in 2007 for 3.5 million euros, assumes the rest and sells 90% of its production in the national territory.
The physical channel is its main form of sale: in national territory, the shoe company has 5 franchises and 37 owned stores. Meanwhile, outside of Spain, Pikolinos’ activity revolves around the franchise, with more than 140 establishments in China and 12 in Mexico. But beyond owned stores and franchises, the company has the multi-brand channel, its goose that lays the golden eggs. It is the most powerful segment, with more than 8,000 points of sale all over the world.
Pikolinos is also committed to electronic commerce, which has been climbing positions in recent years. It opened its website in 2009 and since then online sales have grown to represent 12% of the total box. “It started as an alternative channel and now it is a necessity. We have to offer this service to a consumer who demands it”, adds the general director.