Some of the industry’s top footwear makers are betting big on India.
Having established a presence in the country through joint-venture agreements inked years ago, California’s Skechers and Colorado’s Crocs are now doubling down.
Skechers India is focused on expanding its presence in retail and manufacturing. The company plans to double its store count from 50 to 100 within a year on the heels of impressive 70% year-over-year growth.
The stores, measuring a manageable 100-150 sq. ft., initially will be a balanced mix of 50-50 owned and franchise-owned. Eventually, though, Skechers’ portfolio of stores in India will become more franchise-heavy, particularly where the shoemaker lacks access to infrastructure.
Once it gets its feet wet, Skechers also aims to set up a manufacturing unit in the country within three to five years.
Within the same time frame, Crocs India intends to open 100-150 exclusive outlets and another 250 shop-in-shop touch points through agreements with multiple franchisees.
Online strategies are also in the works, with Skechers selling through Skechers.inlive and Crocs counting on websites Amazon, Jabong, and Myntra. Crocs expects its online business there to generate 15% of revenue.
According to First Research, Asia is the source of 88% of the footwear produced worldwide, followed by South America (5% of production), Europe and Africa (3% each), and North America (2%). In terms of footwear consumption, the top nation is China, followed by the US, India, and Brazil.
Industry Impact — Footwear manufacturers with global retail operations are planting deeper roots in India after years of establishing themselves through joint-venture agreements. To balance the costs associated with their expanding brick-and-mortar businesses, companies are also counting on online sales in the country.
Tracking the moves of consumer products makers since 2003, Catherine Colbert is an industry researcher, writer, and blogger. Previously, she spent ample time in magazine publishing, technical writing, ad copywriting, medical writing, and marketing. Follow her on Twitter.