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Italy Turns to Dropshipping to Give Local Shoemakers E-Commerce Access

Italy is turning to dropshipping to make sure its shoemakers have access to online sales while stores slowly reopen to demand that’s not guaranteed.

Italian national footwear association Assocalzaturifici has partnered with business-to-business distributor Brandsdistribution to launch BDroppy, a new multi-channel platform, that will give shoemakers in Italy access to more than 450,000 international e-commerce retailers. BDroppy enables Assocalzaturifici’s approximately 600 member brands to reach a new audience of retailers in 50 countries via drop-shipping, the groups said in a statement.

“In view of the current COVID-19 epidemiological emergency which, in compliance with the various restrictive measures imposed by the government, has led to the temporary closure of all shoe and clothes shops, our association has entered into a partnership with Brandsdistribution with the aim of bringing Italian footwear brands onto the digital b2b BDroppy platform,” Assocalzaturifici chair Siro Badon, said in a statment. “This represents a concrete opportunity for many of our member companies that produce high-quality goods but do not have the necessary resources themselves to emerge in the world of e-commerce.”

Brandsdistribution chief operating officer Carlo Tafuri said brands that operate through BDroppy can begin selling their merchandise through the platform quickly and without a need to invest in marketing. Assocalzaturifici’s Made in Italy brands can instead rely on the distribution company’s database and experience, according to Tafuri. The platform has 450,000 retailers registered worldwide and generates 100 million euros ($108.36 million) in sales each year, and generates 1.2 million views annually, Assocalzaturifici said. Reaching more than 50 countries including Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, the company also offers customer support in eight languages.

The aim is to help shoemakers clear some of the excess inventories they’re amassing during the pandemic that has largely slowed movement and consumption to a halt.

“At the present moment, the survival of our sector, and of the ‘Made-in-Italy’ fashion industry as a whole, depends inevitably on the new platforms,” Badon said. “Today’s retailers have to face up to the fact that they can no longer limit themselves to only providing a tactile, in-store sales experience, but must be able to offer remote access to products and information as well. This technology is even more important at the present moment since it can help dispose of the excess stock that has accumulated as a result of the lockdown.”