Footwear companies turn bullish on India

Written by Neha Pal | Neha Pal | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 24 2011, 07:49am hrs
With a surge in the number of sporting events, more and more foreign players are turning bullish on the footwear market, which is growing at a rate of 12% annually. While the top four international brands Reebok, Adidas, Nike and Puma have carved their niche in India, smaller global players like Lotto Sports Italia, Vans, Skechers, Crocs are looking to increase their footprint. According to industry experts, several foreign brands are relying on channel partners that have a successful presence in several shop-in-shops, utilising large multi-brand outlets such as Shoppers Stop, Pantaloons and Ebony.

Delhi-based Sports Lifestyle managing director Lalit Kishore said, Sports Lifestyle has established a successful presence in more than 150 shop-in-shops and is utilising large multi-brand outlets such as Shoppers Stop, Reliance Footprints, Ritu wears,Chunmun, Standards Max, Ebony, Delco, Central, Pantaloons and Planet Sports.

Lotto Sports Italia, which markets products in India through Delhi-based Sports Lifestyle, will be opening around 300 stores in the next two years in a phased manner. Luca Tomat, business unit director of Lotto, Asia-Pacific, told FE, Lotto Sports is quite aggressive about retail expansion and will increase the number of its exclusive stores to 300 in the next two years in India.

The footwear collection, including tennis and soccer performance products along with regular wears, come in the price range of R1,399 to R4,299. Another international company Vans which is a US footwear brand has recently tied up with apparel brand VF Arvind Brands. Kanchan Pant, managing director, VF Arvind Brands told FE, We would look specifically at malls because younger customers spend more time in malls and this is the pattern we have observed. We have set up our stores in top malls of India like Ambience mall in Delhi and Forum Mall in Koramangala, Bangaluru.

Pant further said that Vans is looking at setting up more stores in top cities inlcuding Delhi, Mumbai, Bangaluru, Pune, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Chennai.

According to industry estimates, the average growth in the footwear industry has been estimated at 12% and is expected to reach R47,000 crore by 2025.