Wood­land’s sub-brand Woods to ven­ture into ap­parel seg­ment, ex­pand foot­print as sep­a­rate re­tail en­tity

The Hindu Business Line - - NEWS - ABHISHEK LAW

Aero Club, mak­ers of Wood­land brand of shoes and ap­par­els, is plan­ning to ex­pand its sec­ond brand ‘Woods’ into of­fice and semi-for­mal wear (ap­par­els).

This apart, stand­alone ex­pan­sion of ‘Woods’ stores is also on cards.

Woods was in­tro­duced nearly a decade ago as a sub­brand of Wood­land fo­cus­ing on for­mal footwear for men and com­pet­ing with the likes of Clarks, Aldo and Hush Pup­pies.

The ini­tial fo­cus was on in­ter­na­tional de­signs as com­pared to out­door shoes and boots un­der the ‘Wood­land’ brand.

Later, the sub-brand was ex­tended to in­clude women’s footwear.

Sub­se­quently, it was elevated as a stand­alone re­tail en­tity. Ap­prox­i­mately, 60 per cent of Woods’ cur­rent turnover comes from women’s footwear. The re­main­ing 40 per cent come from men’s footwear.

In FY19, Wood­land re­ported a turnover of ₹1,250 crore. Woods’ share was 20 per cent of it, or ₹250 crore.

Ac­cord­ing to Harki­rat Singh, MD, Aero Club, plans are afoot to ex­pand the brand (Woods) as a com­plete life­style one by adding for­mal and semi-for­mal wear range for both men and women. Harki­rat Singh, MD, Aero Club

“Woods found trac­tion as a stand­alone re­tail en­tity fo­cussed on pre­mium for­mal and ca­sual footwear. We would now like to ex­tend it to ap­par­els,” he told Busi­nessLine.

New ex­port mar­kets such as Aus­tralia and Canada are be­ing ex­plored, even as the com­pany re­mains fo­cused on ex­ist­ing mar­kets such as GEC coun­tries, Rus­sia and South Africa.

Stand­alone stores

Ac­cord­ing to Singh, Woods will be ex­panded as a sep­a­rate re­tail en­tity with stand­alone stores. There are al­ready 10 such stand­alone stores across Delhi, Ben­galuru, Ker­ala, Hy­der­abad, Chen­nai, Patna and Mum­bai.

The re­fo­cus on ex­pand­ing Woods as a sep­a­rate re­tail en­tity comes nearly after two years when de­mon­eti­sa­tion and roll-out of the GST had stopped its ex­pan­sion drive.

At least six stores, all com­pany-owned-and-com­pa­ny­op­er­ated, are planned by the end of this year at a cost of ₹10-12 crore.

These stores will be set up in malls with fo­cus on Tier-I cities, or those which has a high pur­chas­ing power.

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