Crocs India moves beyond slippers, eyes casual footwear for growth

Crocs India is hoping to earn at least one-third of its overall revenue from the casual footwear category in two years, up from the current 20%


Crocs sold 15 lakh pairs of footwear in 2016. Photo: Harikrishna Katragadda/Mint
Crocs sold 15 lakh pairs of footwear in 2016. Photo: Harikrishna Katragadda/Mint

New Delhi: Footwear brand Crocs India Pvt. Ltd, known for its colourful clogs and flip flops, is now eyeing the casual footwear segment for the next phase of growth.

The company which entered India in 2007, is hoping to earn at least one-third of its overall revenue from the casual footwear category in two years, up from the current 20%.

“Our strategy is more towards casual now. We want to cater to a wider range of consumer needs. While our core product offering remains intact, we are offering boots, wedges, loafers and casual shoes also. Crocs is no more just clogs and flip flops,” said Deepak Chhabra, managing director at Crocs India.

Priced between Rs1,500 and Rs7,000, Crocs sells footwear through 38 exclusive stores, six kiosks, online marketplaces, multi-brand outlets and a wide network of distributors across the country.

All combined, the company has almost 1,000 selling points across 105 cities. Almost 27% of Crocs’s business comes from e-commerce platforms, including Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong and the company’s own website. Crocs sold 15 lakh pairs of footwear in 2016.

Going forward, the company plans to take its exclusive store count to 100, up from 38, in 2017 and is also exploring the kiosk model in certain cities.

“For exclusive stores, the focus will be on top six cities—Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. We are also exploring kiosk model across the country. It is commercially viable. We have six kiosks currently and will set up 10-12 more this year,” said Chhabra.

Crocs isn’t the only footwear brand that is looking at casual footwear segment for growth. Legacy footwear brands like Relaxo and Bata are also betting big on casual and semi-formal footwear segment to expand their consumer base and to cash in on a Rs20,000 crore branded market, growing at a rate of 12-14% annually.

Liberty, once known for its formal shoes, is now earning 50% of its overall revenue from casual footwear segment—up 40% from what it was five years ago.

The shift towards casual footwear comes as a a response to the adoption of casual clothing, accessories and footwear by youth in work wear. “With changing habits and etiquettes in offices, product profiles are changing. People can easily wear casual footwear to workplaces now,” said Chhabra.

Rajat Wahi, partner and head of consumer markets, KPMG India, said that it is a good move by Crocs to diversify into a new category. “It makes sense for the company to leverage the brand name and cater to a wider segment of consumers. Casual footwear connects with young buyers,” said Wahi.

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