Wood­land to Add 60 Stores, Strengthen Fran­chise Model in In­dia

Tap­ping the un­locked po­ten­tial in In­dia, Wood­land en­tered the coun­try in 1992 when the In­dian footwear mar­ket was largely un­or­gan­ised and soon be­came a recog­nis­able name in the ad­ven­ture and out­door seg­ment.

Images Retail - - CONTENTS - – By Surabhi Khosla & San­deep Ku­mar

With chang­ing life­styles and in­creas­ing af­flu­ence, do­mes­tic de­mand for footwear is pro­jected to grow at a faster rate than has been seen in In­dia. Cur­rently, In­dia is the sec­ond largest footwear pro­ducer in the world, with footwear pro­duc­tion ac­count­ing for ap­prox­i­mately 9.6 per­cent (till April 2018) of the global an­nual pro­duc­tion – 22 bil­lion pairs as com­pared to China, which pro­duces over 60 per­cent of the global pro­duc­tion.

The footwear mar­ket in In­dia is now dom­i­nated by men’s footwear which con­trib­utes close to 58 per­cent of the to­tal In­dian footwear re­tail mar­ket and is ex­pected grow at a CAGR of 10 per­cent by 2020. The women’s footwear seg­ment, how­ever, is pro­jected to grow at a much faster CAGR of 20 per­cent.

While the in­dus­try is cur­rently dom­i­nated by un­or­ga­nized do­mes­tic SME footwear man­u­fac­tur­ers, chang­ing con­sumer be­hav­ior and modern life­styles have led to more or­gan­ised brands com­ing into the fray, lured by the po­ten­tial of big­ger sales, but mostly in a bid to give the con­sumer branded, bet­ter qual­ity prod­ucts, value for money.

A sig­nif­i­cant shift was ob­served post lib­er­al­i­sa­tion when life­styles ex­panded to fos­ter great value for the sports/ac­tive seg­ment and for ca­su­al­i­sa­tion as a whole. The tech­no­log­i­cal prow­ess of global sports­wear gi­ants en­abled them to func­tion­ally and fash­ion­ably ap­peal to a young In­dia. Tap­ping the un­locked po­ten­tial in In­dia, Wood­land en­tered In­dia in 1992 when the In­dian footwear mar­ket was

largely un­or­ga­nized and soon be­came a rec­og­niz­able name in the ad­ven­ture and out­door seg­ment in In­dia.

The Right Fit

The brand boasts of a huge prod­uct port­fo­lio aside from footwear, in­clud­ing ap­parel and ac­ces­sories.

“In or­der to sur­vive in an ever-chang­ing and highly com­pet­i­tive mar­ket like In­dia, di­ver­si­fy­ing our prod­uct port­fo­lio is in­evitable. Keep­ing a close eye on lat­est trends and new ris­ing de­mands, we up­grade our port­fo­lio ac­cord­ingly,”

Harki­rat Singh, MD Wood­land.

The de­mand for the prod­ucts is dif­fer­ent in In­dia and other coun­tries be­cause of the var­i­ous fac­tors namely de­mo­graphic con­di­tions, cli­matic con­di­tions, styling cul­ture.

“We cre­ated a prod­uct line specif­i­cally for In­dia and since then we have never looked back. Our prod­uct po­si­tion­ing was al­to­gether un­usual, and we were known as a one def­i­nite choice for ad­ven­tur­ists, tak­ing the mar­ket for rugged and out­door leather shoes by storm. The phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess in the shoe seg­ment en­cour­aged and mo­ti­vated us to en­ter in new seg­ments like clothes, hand­bags as well,” ex­plains Singh.

Over a pe­riod of time, the brand has ex­panded its prod­uct cat­e­gory and now has an ex­ten­sive prod­uct range in­clud­ing hand­bags, wal­lets, travel bags, ca­sual shoes, for­mal shoes, track pants, eye­wear, gloves and out­door equip­ment like tents, sleep­ing bags, um­brel­las, trekking poles, wa­ter­proof out­door back­packs.

The prices of prod­ucts have been set with a re­al­is­tic ap­proach since Wood­land prides it­self on be­ing a cus­tomer-friendly brand.

“The pric­ing strat­egy is to keep the prices in sync with the pur­chas­ing power of our tar­get cus­tomers, which are ma­jorly the youth seg­ment – aged between 17-25 years, col­lege stu­dents


and pro­fes­sion­als – who are in­ter­ested in ad­ven­ture sports and are on the look­out for stylish, yet value for money prod­ucts. The price range of our jack­ets varies from ₹5,000 to 35,000 whereas the price range of our footwear starts from ₹3,000,” says Singh.

Let­ting Tech­nol­ogy Lead the Way

With on­line chan­nels tak­ing over the re­tail in­dus­try, e-com­merce has grad­u­ally be­come an in­evitable part of the com­pany’s sales and rev­enue. The com­pany’s por­tal and other e-com­merce sites col­lec­tively con­trib­ute to the e-com­merce sales rev­enue, thereby adding to vol­umes. There is also an ex­clu­sive range of mer­chan­dise for e-com­merce sites.

The avail­abil­ity of Wood­land prod­ucts on all the prom­i­nent e-com­merce web­sites en­hances the brand vis­i­bil­ity among the larger group of au­di­ence and helps widen the scope of sales. WE HAVE AL­READY LAUNCHED GPS EM­BED­DED JACK­ETS, BOA SHOES, CLIENT T-SHIRTS, AND MANY MORE NEW TECH­NOLO­GIES AND IN­NO­VA­TIONS IN PROD­UCTS ARE IN PIPE­LINE.

The brand is also a strong be­liever in Om­nichan­nel re­tail, in­vest­ing in on­line sales which are ex­pected to grow to 40 per­cent in the next three to four years. It plans to con­cen­trate more on a seam­less ap­proach through all avail­able shop­ping chan­nels, i.e. mo­bile in­ter­net de­vices, com­put­ers, brick­sand-mor­tar, tele­vi­sion, ra­dio, di­rect mail, cat­a­logue, in-store ex­pe­ri­ence and so on.

Aside from this, Wood­land has a his­tory of ex­plor­ing in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy em­bed­ded in prod­ucts and in­te­grat­ing it with all as­pects of the brand.

“We have al­ready launched GPS em­bed­ded jack­ets, BOA shoes, client T-shirts, and many more new tech­nolo­gies and in­no­va­tions in prod­ucts are in pipe­line,” says Singh.

Re­tail Map­ping & Ex­pan­sion Plans

Glob­ally, Wood­land is present in more than 40 coun­tries. In In­dia, Wood­land has a chain of over 600 com­pa­ny­owned stores and is present in over 5,000 multi-brand out­lets and is plan­ning on adding an­other 60 stores in this fi­nan­cial year in an equiv­a­lent com­bi­na­tion of small towns and met­ros.

It is also work­ing to­wards strength­en­ing its fran­chise model in In­dia, to grow its pres­ence in smaller ci­ties and towns.

“We are cur­rently work­ing on en­ter­ing into more for­eign coun­tries in the near fu­ture to add to our in­ter­na­tional kitty. Wood­land as a brand is al­ready present in China, Aokang and Hong Kong. Apart from this, we are work­ing on strength­en­ing our pres­ence in South-east Asia, West Asia, Europe and USA,” states Singh.

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