Skechers Shoes Now Makes Foray Into Indian Market

Mumbai: | Updated: Nov 4 2003, 05:30am hrs
After tapping 110 countries, US $1,000-million Skechers Internationalwhich produces Skechers lifestyle shoes for the youthhas recently forayed into the Indian market and formed a new company called Three Sixty Lifestyle Pvt Ltd. It is a joint venture between Dubai-based Healthline Middle East Ltd (the distribution licensee of Skechers International for Skechers shoes in Dubai) and Delhi-based Rs 450-crore Cargo Motors Pvt Ltd (a Telco dealer in Gujarat and Punjab). With the move, Three Sixty Lifestyle Pvt Ltd will now act as the distributor for Skecher shoes in the Indian market.

Three Sixty Lifestyle Pvt Ltd is now planning to make India an export hub for Skechers lifestyle shoes by way of providing the basic design to Skechers US. In turn, Skechers US will modify the shoe design to suit international taste. The company is looking at the possibilities of setting up a manufacturing facility for Skechers in India, depending on the consumer response. But prior to the move, Three Sixty Lifestyle Private Ltd has charted out marketing plans to promote Skechers in India for the first time, Three Sixty Lifestyle Pvt Ltd chief executive officer Nirup Malkani told FE.

On the companys new plans, Mr Malkani said: The positioning for Skechers is niche. We are planning to tie-up with Vama, Piramyd Megastore, Pantaloon, Planet Sports and The LOFT in India. At present, our products are available at 37 Metro shoe stores, 12 Regal stores, three Mochi stores, 12 INC5 stores and six Lifestyle stores.

The company is also planning to set up two Skechers flagship stores one each at Mumbai and Delhi in the next six months. Skechers shoes in India are priced between Rs 1,800 and Rs 3,400.

In order to create awareness for Skechers shoes, the company is planning to focus on fun events, promotions, contests, in-store merchandising, enhancing brand visibility in colleges, pubs and high-traffic points. At present, internationally Skechers shoe brand is endorsed by renowned singer Christina Agulera. This arrangement will continue for the Indian market as well till the company gets a firm foothold for Skechers in India, he said.

As for its co-branded strategic tie-up, Three Sixty Lifestyle Private Ltd is currently in talks with BMG Crescend to conduct joint promotions with Christina Agulera who is planning to visit India in February 2004. In addition, we have also confirmed participation at Mood Indigo a college festival of IIT-Mumbai. Apart from this, we will also give away freebies and prizes through lucky draws, added Mr Malkani.