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Forza Italia: The transition from bricks and mortar to online

Sergio Alderuccio

Forza Italia is a retailer of Italian sporting, automotive and novelty clothing and merchandise shifted its focus from traditional retail to online.

In late 2019 the business relocated into a new shop on Lygon St, Carlton (Little Italy of Melbourne) By end of the first quarter of 2020 it became clear that the traditional retail business model had to be revised.

Setting things in place for the future

When I started working with Joseph and Forza Italia, the first thing we needed to focus on was developing a strategic plan to set a clear direction for the business. We then broke down the plan into small chunks and implemented various actions.

After developing the strategic plan, we started working with data and facts, rather than making reactive decisions. Joseph became more conscious of margins and capitalising on opportunities to maximise margins by value adding and increasing efficiencies. By changing his base factors, Joseph began to see a change in his business.

As I worked with Joseph, I gained an understanding of what his strengths were. We capitalised on his strengths and passions i.e. ideas, pursuing new opportunities and marketing, whilst l implemented a structure incorporating follow up procedures and systems.

With the structure and systems in place, we then focussed on ensuring we had the right people in the right roles. I supported Joseph as he progressively built a strong team both internally and externally. By having the right team in place, Joseph could gradually start to let go of the many day to day tasks and focus his strengths on making the biggest contribution to growing the business, freeing his being involved in every activity and decision.

The results

Since we started working together, Forza Italia has

  • Significantly increased marketing on social media.
  • The website was upgraded and continues to evolve.
  • New products introduced.
  • Job roles revised to better meet the needs of the new trading/business model.
  • Created more value-added offerings such as picture framing, design and customised team wear.
  • Secured Victorian distribution rights to a major international team wear supplier.
  • Formed a number of new alliances with various sporting clubs, motoring enthusiast groups and a comedy entertainment group.
  • Pursued new market segments.
  • Orders received from across Australia and even as far away as Canada.
  • 2021 growth set to grow by 100%
  • The retail store will remain, but in the future it will act more as a showroom to support the online activity. Customers can view and try on items, as well as pick up, if they choose.

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