Bangalore: Small has come to mean a big opportunity for international brand retailers, who are now wooing kids to buy their shoes. Levis Strauss India Pvt. Ltd, maker of Levis jeans and other brands, and Reebok India Co. are launching exclusive footwear targeted at children aged between three and 12 years.
Levis Strauss plans to launch an exclusive apparel and footwear line, which it is yet to name, for children. The company says the emphasis will be on footwear.
“We feel footwear is a good market to be in. As of now footwear contributes in single digit (proportion) to sales, but there is potential for huge demand here,” says Shyam Sukhramani, director of marketing at Levis Strauss India.
Reebok India has introduced a kids’ line of shoes called “Reebok Junior”. The company is introducing 80 varieties of footwear for kids, including school shoes.
“Contribution from shoes is very small right now, but in two years we expect a contribution of 20% from this segment,” says Subhinder Singh Prem, managing director at Reebok India.
Children exposed to new fashion trends and brand names are turning into a powerful customer segment in the country because they influence the shopping decisions of their parents, says Zahir Abbas, associate director of retail at Technopak Advisors Pvt. Ltd, a management consulting firm. The children’s footwear market in India is estimated to be worth about $166 million (Rs700 crore), and growing at an annual pace of 10-12%, according to Technopak.
Retailers are also eying infants. Raymond Ltd, which ventured into children’s wear through its Zapp line, will launch its infant line called BabyZapp next month. “We are introducing 16 product categories in this line,” says Vineeth Nair, director of Raymond Apparel Ltd.