Brazil’s Via Uno Becomes Global One Shoe and Franchise at a Time

Via Uno, a maker of female shoes that is based in the city of Novo Hamburgo, in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, You can already find their product in the US, Europe, Africa and several Latin American countries, including Argentina and Mexico.

They are going to open two new stores in the Arab world in March. The units will be franchises and will be in shopping centers in Amman, Jordan, and Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

Via Uno already has four franchises in Dubai. The shopping center in Jordan where the store will be opened is currently under construction and will be called Mecca Mall.

According to the company export manager, Jadir Bergonsi, the opening of the two stores in the Arab countries is part of the company strategy of foreign expansion.

Via Uno chose the setting up of franchises as it considers this the shortest way to brand foreign recognition. The company has 40 franchises abroad and intends to inaugurate another 20 this year. Six will be opened in Mexico in March.

Via Uno produces over 30,000 pairs of shoes a day and exports around 50% of production. The Arab market absorbs between 8% and 10% of the total sold by the company on the foreign market, according to Bergonsi.

The company export manager stated that the shoes that are sold most on the Arab market are sports shoes, sandals, moccasins and pumps. The buyers of company shoes are in the middle class, according to Bergonsi.

Apart from trading shoes in their franchises, Via Uno also has its products bought by shops that sell various brand products on the Arab market, in countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar and Kuwait. The four franchises the company has in the United Arab Emirates are in shopping centers.

Growing Brand

Via Uno also intends to open 50 franchises in Brazil throughout 2006. Currently, the factory has just eight franchises in the country. The shoes produced by the company, however, are also sold at multi-brand stores.

Via Uno is among the best-known brands in Brazil. The company makes shoes both out of leather and of other synthetic products.

Via Uno was established in 1991 in the city of Novo Hamburgo, which is a reference in shoe production in southern Brazil, and grew rapidly on the foreign market.

Today, apart from the headquarters, Via Uno also has six industrial units in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, and another four in the state of Bahia, in the northeast of the country.

Via Uno
Telephone: (+55 51) 3581-6000
www.viauno.com.br

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