New Delhi: Future Retail Ltd, the retail arm of Future Group, which owns footwear brands such as Converse, Sketchers and Clarks, is expected to clock ₹ 1,600 crore in revenue from footwear sales this year with a target of ₹ 2,500 crore in 2019. Future Group founder and chief executive officer Kishore Biyani said that they are aggressively focusing on footwear to drive the fashion business.
He was speaking at the launch of the company’s fashion departmental store, Central, in New Delhi—its 44th in India.
“We are putting immense focus on the footwear department, along with accessories. Footwear is becoming the most necessary accessory especially for men who are now buying more pairs of shoes. In fashion, the category spend is moving towards footwear. Currently, we are the number two footwear retailer in the country after Bata India and in another one year we will be the biggest," said Biyani.
Last year, the group hired N. Mohan as the director of its footwear business. Mohan was the chief executive officer of footwear brand Aerosoles’ Europe business. Future Group also expanded the Lee Cooper range from apparel to footwear and also bought a stake in women’s footwear brand, Tresmode.
Hinting at the increasing purchase frequency in the footwear category, Biyani said that they have witnessed male consumers owning up to 20 pairs of shoes while women tend to own between 20 and 50 pairs of shoes.
The footwear section at the newly opened Central store at Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj, is spread across 10,000 sq. ft housing both company’s in-house brands as well as brands such as Woodland and Red Tape.
“Footwear is going to be the biggest story for us in the next two to three years. Fashion contributes 35% to Future Group’s overall revenue and we want to build a ₹ 70,000 crore strong fashion business in the next seven years. We are looking at fashion as a serious category," Biyani added.
Apart from Central, Future Retail is also present in the value fashion segment through its chain of 61 ‘FBB’ stores which it plans to take it to 100 next year.
There are 12 new Central stores next year. It also sells value segment apparels, footwear and accessories in its Big Bazaar stores.
According to Rajat Wahi, partner, Deloitte Consulting, the footwear market in India stands at around $9 billion and is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 16% to reach $13 billion by 2020.
The men’s footwear makes up approximately 60% of the market and is growing at 10% while women’s footwear accounts for 30% and is expected to grow at 20%.
“The footwear category is seeing a lot of action with multiple global brands entering the market and Indian brands making a big play with new designs. The price point in the category has certainly moved up in a big way both for casual and smartwear. I feel while men’s footwear category always had brands the women’s category has no major national footwear brand and hence immense untapped potential," said Wahi.