Fu­ture will be­come No.1 footwear re­tailer in one year, says Biyani

Mint ST - - NEWS - [email protected] NEW DELHI

Fu­ture Re­tail Ltd, the re­tail arm of Fu­ture Group, which owns footwear brands such as Con­verse, Sketch­ers and Clarks, is ex­pected to clock ₹1,600 crore in revenue from footwear sales this year with a tar­get of ₹2,500 crore in 2019. Fu­ture Group founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Kishore Biyani said that they are ag­gres­sively fo­cus­ing on footwear to drive the fash­ion busi­ness.

He was speak­ing at the launch of the com­pany’s fash­ion de­part­men­tal store, Cen­tral, in New Delhi—its 44th in In­dia.

“We are putting im­mense fo­cus on the footwear depart­ment, along with ac­ces­sories. Footwear is be­com­ing the most nec­es­sary ac­ces­sory es­pe­cially for men who are now buy­ing more pairs of shoes. In fash­ion, the cat­e­gory spend is mov­ing to­wards footwear. Cur­rently, we are the num­ber two footwear re­tailer in the coun­try af­ter Bata In­dia and in an­other one year we will be the big­gest,” said Biyani.

Last year, the group hired N. Mohan as the di­rec­tor of its footwear busi­ness. Mohan was the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of footwear brand Aerosoles’ Europe busi­ness. Fu­ture Group also ex­panded the Lee Cooper range from ap­parel to footwear and also bought a stake in women’s footwear brand, Tres­mode.

Hint­ing at the in­creas­ing pur­chase fre­quency in the footwear cat­e­gory, Biyani said that they have wit­nessed male con­sumers own­ing up to 20 pairs of shoes while women tend to own be­tween 20 and 50 pairs of shoes.

The footwear sec­tion at the newly opened Cen­tral store at Am­bi­ence Mall, Vas­ant Kunj, is spread across 10,000 sq. ft hous­ing both com­pany’s in-house brands as well as brands such as Wood­land and Red Tape.

“Footwear is go­ing to be the big­gest story for us in the next two to three years. Fash­ion con­trib­utes 35% to Fu­ture Group’s over­all revenue and we want to build a ₹70,000 crore strong fash­ion busi­ness in the next seven years. We are look­ing at fash­ion as a se­ri­ous cat­e­gory,” Biyani added.

Apart from Cen­tral, Fu­ture Re­tail is also present in the value fash­ion seg­ment through its chain of 61 ‘FBB’ stores which it plans to take it to 100 next year.

There are 12 new Cen­tral stores next year. It also sells value seg­ment ap­par­els, footwear and ac­ces­sories in its Big Bazaar stores.

Ac­cord­ing to Ra­jat Wahi, partner, Deloitte Con­sult­ing, the footwear mar­ket in In­dia stands at around $9 bil­lion and is ex­pected to grow at a com­pounded an­nual growth rate of 16% to reach $13 bil­lion by 2020.

The men’s footwear makes up ap­prox­i­mately 60% of the mar­ket and is grow­ing at 10% while women’s footwear ac­counts for 30% and is ex­pected to grow at 20%.

“The footwear cat­e­gory is see­ing a lot of ac­tion with mul­ti­ple global brands en­ter­ing the mar­ket and In­dian brands mak­ing a big play with new de­signs. The price point in the cat­e­gory has cer­tainly moved up in a big way both for ca­sual and smartwear. I feel while men’s footwear cat­e­gory al­ways had brands the women’s cat­e­gory has no ma­jor na­tional footwear brand and hence im­mense un­tapped po­ten­tial,” said Wahi.

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