Soles Shoes to Expand Retail Footprint in India
The brand is all set to establish itself as an iconic lifestyle brand, with a target to become a fast fashion brand to reckon with international market in the coming years…
The footwear market has changed exponentially over the past few years, growing rapidly as shoes are becoming more than just a necessity – they’re becoming a very important fashion accessory. The increasing demand for trendy, yet comfortable, footwear among all age groups is a key factor in the rapid growth of this market. Malls covet good international and national footwear brand due to the growing demand from consumers. One such brand which started with a single store and has now grown into a chain catering to almost all of South India is SOLES.
“We started our journey in 2007 as a women’s footwear brand. That time, SOLES was a single store. Today, we are catering to almost all of South India with our stores. Our target audience is aged between 18-50 and includes women who stand by fashion, who wear fashion on their feet and who seek comfort and trend all rolled into one. We have all company-owned retail stores to reach the end-customer. Our focus is now expansion for we want to spread our retail footprint to the rest of the country soon,” says Ayaz Mahmood, Founder and MD, SOLES Fashion Private Limited.
The brand has a robust Omnichannel strategy in place, with a strong online presence. SOLES reaches the consumer through their stores as well as their e-commerce website www.solesshoes.com. With an average store size is between 600 sq. ft. to 1,000 sq. ft., the brand has always been in line with some most of the competitive, premium brands in India.
“We have our own production units which are comfortable for the distribution of offline sales which directly reach our company-owned retail stores. Apart from this, we have an online sales channel both
in B2C and B2B on Amazon and Indiamart respectively. We also sell our products on major e-commerce websites,” says Ayaz Mahmood.
The brand uses Customer Square to support them in their customer relationship management. However, the team is major proponents of great customer service, rather than playing around with new-fangled technology.
“In the 10 years that we have been in existence, we have successfully maintained good relations with our customers. They are like family to the SOLES Group. Our endeavor is to serve consumers better every step of the way,” says Ayaz Mahmood.
The brand has always used a premium pricing strategy and has been flexible in giving discounts to loyal customers, apart from the regular offers it keeps rolling out. A Focus on Visual Merchandising Visual merchandising is a time-tested retail concept that focuses on enhancing the aesthetic appeal of a product or store to attract customers and increase sales. SOLES from the very beginning has played with visuals.
“We follow a lifestyle display setting which encourages customers to come inside and check out our product and makes the customer relate deeply with the footwear. One key element according to us is the light which acts as catalyst for product enhancement,” says Ayaz Mahmood.
SOLES is primarily focused on expanding in the national market, spreading to other parts of the country after firming their footprint in the South. The brand is eyeing metro cities and is open to setting up shop in both malls or high streets.
“India is a mix of both Western and Eastern cultures. With globalisation, more and more malls are opening to accommodate internationally aware audiences, and brands are penetrating every part of the country, be they Tier I, II or III cities / towns. SOLES, being a premium brand, has always had footprints in Tier I cities. We now plan to move into Tier II and III as well in order to create a complete lifestyle brand,” Ayaz Mahmood adds.
The long-term goal, of course, is to expand internationally.
“Since we are planning to target other parts of India, we will also have to expand category-wise. We plan on including closed shoes in our category and also in different price ranges,” he further states.
The brand is all set to establish itself as an iconic lifestyle brand, with a target to become a fast fashion brand to reckon with international market in the coming years.
We plan to target every sector as a separate group, reaching out to them, understanding their tastes and choices and serving them accordingly.
Currently, the brand is achieving ₹12 crore per annum. The target is to hike this by at least 50 percent in the coming fiscal.
THE WAY TO A WOMEN’S HEART IS THROUGH HER SOLES. I MAKE SHOES THAT KISS YOUR FEET, CARESS YOUR SOLES NO WOMAN CAN RESIST. – Ayaz Mahmood, Founder and MD , SOLES Fashion Pvt Ltd.