Brand Speaks | Healers
Liberty, the country’s leading footwear manufacturer is all set to take comfort to another level. With a belief that customers are most inclined to buying footwear with pronounced health benefits Liberty is introducing – HEALERS.
Fashion Is Tantamount With Comfort
The oldest shoemaker of the country has unveiled its first product under the new sub-brand – Healers, which is expected to become the hub of innovation and new technologies. With an annual turnover exceeding ` 500 crore, Liberty Shoes is the second largest shoe manufacturing company in India and has been a prominent player for the last 60 years. Helping dress up the feet of the fashion-driven and quality-seeking customers in more than 25 countries, which includes major international fashion destinations like France, Italy and Germany, with robust worldwide distribution network of 150 distributors, 500 exclusive showrooms and more than 8000 multi-brand outlets. liberty is future ready and getting new technologically advanced footwear in the market and the company is creating a separate retail identity for Healers with exclusive showrooms.
Anupam Bansal, Executive Director Retail, Liberty Shoes is geared up to steer the ambitious plan to regenerate the premium comfort market. He would be plunging out
with Healers, a sub-brand of Liberty, with shoes starting from ` 3,000 and going up to ` 10,000. Beside this, he also announced that it will be retailed thru exclusive stores and shop in shop concepts, which will be scalable in nature and this will allow it to be more flexible in terms of the SKU’S that it plans to bring out. He shares his views on the launch of HEALERS with Amit Chopra, S&A
Tell us about HEALERS vision
Having carved a niche for ourselves in the Indian footwear industry for last six decades, we have launched an all-new sub-brand Healers.uber cool footwear is positioned to give ultimate comfort and style to the modern consumer. We have reoriented our business strategy and Healers has been conceived to tap the premium segment with a singleminded objective to make a world of difference for consumers who want utmost comfort and chic style in footwear!
Liberty always stood for comfort. It is an undisputed fact that today foot health is body health and the performance of an individual is hugely dependent on how comfortable the footwear is. It is also very relevant in today’s context as consumers spend long working hours, driving, meeting deadlines etc and this puts huge pressure on the feet. Healers have been conceived to give a perfect fit to the wearer and help in the natural healing process with the in-built technologies in the insoles.
How did this idea come about of bringing a new brand?
We have researched extensively and our findings today clearly indicate that consumers don’t want to compromise on comfort. More importantly, the modern day lifestyle which is highly demanding and expect people to work long hours and stay on their feet. The technology used in healer are primarily designed to maximize comfort to consumers. Added to that is the style which will be make them more wearable.
Who is your prime target audience for this brand?
We are targeting consumers in the SEC A+ category. Men and women who are discerning, crave for newness and look for attractively dressing their feet with comfort and style. Working professionals, young executives of 25 years age onwards are our target. The segment that we have focused are spending at least 10-12 hours in a day on their feet. They are busy, work-oriented and leading hectic lifestyle. Hence, comfort for them is supreme with an added style quotient.
How long would it take for this project to establish as a stable venture?
We have been incubating Healers for last 2 years and now we are ready to launch it. We have ambitious plans for Healers. We will be retailing Healers through Exclusive outlets and Shop-in-shops model. Healers will be available in 5 new stand alone outlets in Delhi, NCR and Lucknow. With distinct merchandising, it is clearly positioned to have a unique appeal and standing. It will take a few months to stabalise. But we are confident that we will be going to the next level of expansion as the product has evoked huge response from the consumers.
Is the project being majorly self funded?
Yes. As of now it is completely self funded.
What would be the ratio of the sales - EBO vs SIS & offline vs online?
Cannot be defined and at this point we do not want restrict ourselves with mathematically rationalizing the future strategies.
What is the rationale behind the business expansion thru EBO’S?
Sometimes it becomes easier to expand the business through EBO because the effort to streamline the systems bears more success.
What’s the team size that you would deploy to this brand?
There is no exclusive team that is being deployed for the brand. Our existing sales and marketing team are inputting with their experience to ensure a marketing success.
What kind of dealers are you looking at?
We would like the dealers who have deep insights in footwear industry and passion to push our brand. Understanding of the brand is key to retail. Hence we are spending a lot of time and effort to impart education about our brand and its USP.
How would you differentiate your products from the competition?
Liberty has been in the country for last six decades. Our products have stood the test of time and we have carved a niche for ourselves. Liberty stands for comfort and fashion. We have offered products in all categories and hence it is today a household name. available at all price points, it has enticed customers from across a large consumer base.
Which is the most significant slice of the group?
The Brand position for Liberty is-fashion is Comfort. We feel that when a consumer buys footwear he will approach it for fashion but buy it only if it is comfortable. This is irrespective of the kind of footwear that he buys. So whether it is casual or formal the common denominator is comfort in both and hence a difficult slice to enumerate.
What are some of the challenges that you are facing?
The immediate challenge is educating the retail channel about the product and the benefits thereof.
Would we see an aggressive presence of the brand in the market?
You will see a distinct presence of the brand in the market.
What would be the retail marketing strategy in the coming years?
Liberty has been an established brand for last five decades. The brand has stood the test of time and faced numerous challenges from both national as well as multinational brands. We have a robust worldwide distribution network of 150 distributors, 500 exclusive showrooms and more than 8000 multi-brand outlets. Helping dress up the feet of the fashion-driven and quality-seeking customers in more
than 25 countries, we are available in major international fashion destinations like France, Italy and Germany. Our overall gameplan is to be the Numero Uno brand in India which stands for comfort and style! We have the necessary experience and understanding of the sector. Healers, our newest sub-brand from Liberty for instance is a game changer for us as we are targeting premium segment. We intend to launch a few more brands targeting the youth. All this will be retailed through a robust retail system that we currently enjoy across the country. We have plans to scale up the same in the coming months as for Healers alone, we have set up stand alone Exclusive outlets for retailing this brand. Hence as we go along, we would be expanding our retail distribution network to make our brand more accessible.
How integral is digital media for the brand?
In the world of digitization, we can never ignore the Digital medium. We have a robust strategy in place and are working actively on the same.
What would be your online strategy?
Right now we are focusing on offline and through our EBOS and SIS. Liberty as a brand is an established player for last 5 decades and we are well entrenched in the retail segment. For Online strategy, we are exploring some innovative options.
Could you share with the readers the most exciting thing happening at your brand?
The initial response that we have got from the trade has been very encouraging.