Footwear is as important as clothes! A man’s personality can be judged from the footwear he is bearing. Today, Indian men are as conscious about their shoes as they are about their clothes.
The Indian footwear market is segmented between organised and unorganised segment. Where on one hand, the unorganised segment caters to a lot of footwear demand in India, organised retail is penetrating at a very high rate into Indian cities. With the entry of so many international brands, Indian footwear market is witnessing a paradigm shift in shopping trends. With increased household income, shifting consumer behaviour from saving to spending and modern lifestyle, the organized retail in footwear market is rapidly evolving and expected to grow at a higher rate in the future.
The choice of footwear differs for every occasion – formal, ethnic, casual, sportswear and daily wear – to be more specific. While brands like Nike, Puma and Adidas majorly cater to sportswear segment, there are Indian players like Bata, Liberty, Action and campus acknowledging the need for formal or ethnic wear. People have started looking up to premium stores like Hush Puppies, Clarks and Red Tape for their requirements of quality footwear. In fact, apparel companies like Louis Phillipe, Tommy Hilfiger and Louis Vuitton offer shoes of their make to sustain customer loyalty and have them keep coming back for more.
Due to the presence of a large number of players, the Indian men’s footwear market demonstrates a highly competitive landscape. To gain an edge in the market, the leading vendors particularly focus on product differentiation and capitalising on the opportunities in emerging countries. The companies try to woo Indian male clan on the attributes of style, comfort and looks.
Moreover, there is a burgeoning momentum in online shopping. People today are not hesitant to shop online from marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal and so many others. The branded men’s footwear is available on such portals and that too on great discounts and good deals. Along with the metros, the trend is catching up in Tier II and Tier III cities as well. For instance, Clarks is working on a new online platform, as web accounts for around 10 percent of Clarks overall sales in India. Besides, it will continue to sell through online majors like Flipkart, Myntra and Amazon.
At present India domestic footwear market is estimated at around INR 32, 000 crore in FY15. Annually, India produces about 2.1 billion pair of shoes, of which just around 10 percent are exported; rest are consumed within the country. In that too, Men segment accounts for majority of the demand.
UK-based shoemaker C&J Clark International is looking at India as one of its main sourcing hubs, increasing the number of stores and planning a new online platform for this market. At present, 10 percent of its global demand is catered from India and about 40 percent of the shoes sold in India are made here. Clarks Future Footwear Pvt. Ltd, is an equal joint venture between C&J Clark International and Kishore Biyani’s Future Group, which sells Clarks premium shoes in India.