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.

Shoes & Accessories - - Contents -

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.

Anu­pam Bansal, Ex­ec­u­tive Director Re­tail, Lib­erty Shoes

(Ltor) Anu­pam Bansal, Su­nil Bansal, Ra­man Bansal

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