Footloover operates two physical locations in Grassano.
Footloover exports about 50% of its products.
Mario Calabrese and his family have been in the footwear business since 1935. Mario’s grandfather was a shoemaker by trade and his father evolved the business by opening a brick and mortar retail store in the family’s small community of Grassano. Mario began working in the family business as a child, helping out at the store after school. In 1992 Mario’s father formally handed the business down to him, but as big shopping centers began entering the local market, the business struggled to remain competitive. In 2004, with no computer experience whatsoever, Mario tried his luck selling some items on eBay at the suggestion of his family and friends. That’s when Footloover was born. It didn’t take Mario long to realize the business opportunities eBay offered. He started out slowly, selling surplus goods from the store, but soon customers began asking for new and unique products. With that feedback, Mario focused on his online business and inventory selection strategy. Between 2004 and 2012, Footloover exported only about 10% of its sales, but in 2013, Mario developed an international strategy and began marketing specifically to Germany, England, the U.S. and Australia. Today, Footloover exports about 50% of its products and still operates two physical locations in Grassano.
I’m not saying we would have closed our doors without online sales, but business certainly wouldn’t be as good as it is today. eBay has opened our business up to some incredible opportunities and I’ll always be tremendously grateful for that.