Footwear: New Business opportunity
India is standing in the middle of retail revolution in the footwear segment. The market will witness a revolutionary change in the coming years. The country produces close to 2000 million pairs of footwear annually across different categories. In footwear segment, new brands, categories and sales channels are entering into the Indian market, so the market is expanding at a rapid pace. Craze for branded products among youth has revolutionised the demand for fashion footwear products.
With the growing preferences for designs and styles, there is a high demand for fashion accessories. That is the reason, today footwear market is booming as there is a high demand from the customer’s end. In the footwear industry, with the entry of numerous international players, alongside domestic brands are making a prosperous growth with vigorous market demands. Like, Metro Shoes currently runs on a company-owned model and has recently entered into an exclusive agreement for opening CROCS EBOs.
However, Ajinder Singh, Owner, M&B Footwear P. Ltd. explains, “We provide the hardware and software infrastructure along with the knowledge to run the retail stores profitably. The franchisee invests in the stock, interiors and day to day management, while we manage the backend efficiently through technology and drive customers to stores.”
Harkirat Singh, Managing Director, Woodland Worldwide said: “One of the important things that every company should keep in mind is thorough understanding of customers and in-depth analysis of the market. It is imperative for brands to understand consumer mindset and plan accordingly. Nuances in tastes, colors and habits have to be understood over the years. No brand can understand the market and develop products in a short term; it needs to have patience and perseverance.”
In terms of training and supportof the franchisee, Singh said, “We provide complete interior guidelines, zone specific merchandising plan, marketing, sales training and management software to allow the franchisee to focus on retail fundamentals. Behavioral and motivational training tips to store staff, while attending the customer, maintaining customer relationship, servicing, loyalty and post sale service are also given”.
At the same time, there are franchisee audits on regular basis which is conducted by the franchisors to ensure proper functioning of the operations and managements.
The new emerging market is Tier II and Tier III cities in this segment. These markets are fast evolving basis the changing consumer trends and lifestyle preferences. Even though, Woodland is not doing franchising, but the brand has 600 company stores in India and plans to add another 50-60 stores every year. Woodland plans to expand its retail network in Tier-II and Tier-III cities in India and also looking at opening its retail operations in the hugely untapped market in Africa and Zimbabwe for shop-in-shop and distribution based sales.
Hence, the accessory market is expected to grow sustainably over the next few years, charged by changing fashion trends, product innovations, increase in disposable income and retail boom among others.