New Delhi: India’s leading retailer Future Group on Tuesday announced an equal joint venture with the UK-based footwear maker Clarks to set up retail outlets in the country.
The JV Clarks Future Footwear Ltd (CFFL), on Tuesday announced the opening of the first exclusive store in the Indian capital with plans to have at least 100 such stores in the next five years with revenue of up to Rs 250 crore.
“We are aiming for a mark of 100 stores in the next five years and that is the scale required to become profitable in a market like India,” Clarks international operations director Ken Dobinson said.
He, however, did not disclose the investment planned for the expansion but said India is a strategic market for Clarks.
The initial plan for the JV is to open 50 such stores in the next two years.
“By the end of this fiscal, the plan is to set up at least 20 stores,” CFFL CEO S Ramprasad said, adding it would be taken up to 50 stores in two years.
The Clarks brand has been present in India in the past through distributors but the JV has been set up as part of a more focused strategy to address the market demand.
“We expect India to be one of top five markets for Clarks in the next five years. The company also has a plan to increase sourcing from India to cater to global markets,” Clarks head of International business development Andrew Martland said.
Commenting on the revenue expectation of the JV, he said: “In the first two years we are expecting revenue of Rs 100 crore. For the next four to five years the total expected sales will be around Rs 250 crore.”
The company has been sourcing products from India for its global operations for over 30 years, he said.
“Currently we source about 2.5 million pairs of shoes annually from here and intend to double that in the next three years,” Martland said.
Clarks registered total turnover of $1.4 billion in 2010.
“The UK is the top market for the brand followed by the US, Japan, Malasiya, Singapore, Europe and China,” he said.
Before getting into a joint venture with the Future Group, Clarks was in talks with atleast 15 other companies in India for a partnership.
“We also retailed our range within a few stores owned by Reliance Retail for some time,” he added.
Besides exclusive outlets, Clarks range would also be sold at other retail stores like Metro Shoes, Landmark Group outlets and Central by the Future Group, S Ramprasad added.