Flip­kart Gains Top Slot in Footwear Sales

Shoes & Accessories - - The Month That Was -

Home­grown e-com­merce ma­jor Flip­kart claims to have sur­passed tra­di­tional footwear re­tail­ers like Bata and Re­liance Foot­print in re­tail sales for the cal­en­dar year 2017. It is said to have clocked ` 1,800-1,900 crore. Tra­di­tional brick-and-mor­tar footwear re­tailer Bata is said to have reg­is­tered ` 1,500-1,600 crore in sales dur­ing the same pe­riod, while Re­liance Foot­print is ex­pected to have racked up ` 1,000-1,200 crore. Flip­kart’s num­bers do not in­clude the sales in the footwear cat­e­gory for its sub­sidiaries Jabong and Myn­tra.

Ac­cord­ing to the e-com­merce com­pany’s fash­ion head Rishi Va­sudev, the com­pany aims to grow 60-65% in the footwear seg­ment next year, tar­get­ing ` 3,000 crore of sales by De­cem­ber 2018. Through­out the year, Flip­kart worked ex­clu­sively with se­lect brands to cre­ate new ranges with the help of user data which it col­lects on its plat­form. “Footwear as a cat­e­gory has the high­est pen­e­tra­tion on­line, and is still grow­ing steadily. We have an over 50% mar­ket share of the on­line shoe mar­ket. Based on the progress of 2017, we are look­ing to of­fer more af­ford­able, re­li­able qual­ity prod­ucts next year. We will re­duce the price points as we col­lab­o­rate with our part­ners,” Va­sudev re­marked.

The e-com­merce ma­jor will of­fer ex­change pro­grammes for footwear to ac­cel­er­ate re­peat pur­chase, he said. Flip­kart has pacts with brands like Du­cati, Ed Hardy — to bring their range on Flip­kart. It may use its much talked about ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) pro­gramme to rec­om­mend timely re­place­ments.

Mar­ket an­a­lysts said footwear as a seg­ment has grown at a fast clip on­line, forc­ing tra­di­tional re­tail­ers to have a counter strat­egy to boost sales. The over­all footwear mar­ket in In­dia is said to be about ` 30,000-35,000 crore.

Technopak chair­man Arvind K Sing­hal said, “Footwear was among of the fastest grow­ing cat­e­gories on­line. The com­pe­ti­tion has also thus be­come more fierce for tra­di­tional play­ers. While ev­ery­one is claim­ing lead­er­ship, it would be fair to say that they are neck and neck in the race so far.” He added that de­spite Flip­kart’s grow­ing dom­i­nance, play­ers like Bata and Re­liance form a size­able part of the in­dus­try.

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