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Business News/ Companies / Italian luxury shoe brand Santoni to expand presence in India

Italian luxury shoe brand Santoni to expand presence in India

The company has one outlet in Delhi's Emporio mall which was launched in 2018.

A view of Santoni's store in Delhi.

Italian bespoke shoe company Santoni is expanding its India presence and will add two more luxury boutiques in Mumbai and Hyderabad by 2026.

Santoni’s India partner Luxerati Retail Pvt. Ltd's co-founder Sanjay Kataria said the business has earmarked about 15 crore for the expansion plan. A similar amount was spent in launching the company's Delhi store in 2018. At present, the company has one outlet in Delhi's Emporio mall.

Kataria said the company is also mulling an online storefront dedicated only to the India market, similar to what Louis Vuitton did here and that will also come into effect by 2026.

The Luxerati Retail has seen a growth of 15-20% year-on-year. The company became profitable in 2021 and intends to close this fiscal with 8 crore of sales.

Santoni started operations in 1975 in Corridonia, in the heart of the shoemaking district of the Marche region of Italy. The company's founder Andrea Santoni industrialized the artisanal process and focused on making products from regular and exotic leather like ostrich and alligator skin which are hand-cut, coloured and stitched. Today, the brand is run by Anrdrea's son Giuseppe Santoni.

India's luxury market is on a fast track and projected to reach $8.5 billion by 2023, a jump of $2.5 billion from 2021, as per Euromonitor International.

Experts predict even greater growth, with a Bain & Co. study forecasting a 3.5-fold increase by 2030. This surge is fuelled by India's rapid economic expansion, currently the fastest among major economies, with a 7.6% growth recorded in the third quarter of 2023.

However, despite their global popularity and reputation for quality, luxury footwear brands from around the world are facing unexpected hurdles because of stricter government regulations. Mint recently reported that in July 2023, new quality control order (QCO) regulations took effect, mandating that all imported footwear, including those from luxury brands, adhere to Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) norms and display the ISI mark.

This requirement, while ensuring basic quality, clashes with the image and exclusivity associated with luxury brands. The embossing of the ISI mark, intended for mass-produced items, is seen as potentially diminishing the value proposition of these high-end products.

At present, most companies have been relying on their past imports that came in before December 2023 and are still in the process of deciphering the crux of the issue. Moreover, imported luxury shoes in India attract a sizable duty of about 38% along with 18% GST.

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Varuni Khosla

Varuni serves as a Senior Assistant Editor at Mint. Her responsibilities encompass crafting compelling narratives that take a deep dive into hospitality companies, the business of art, luxury brands, the intricacies of the business of sports, advertising and marketing landscapes, gaming insights, tourism and travel industry trends. She also covers alcohol commerce. She is skilled at communication, meticulous research, and insightful analysis keeping contemporary shifts and advancements within the lifestyle and business domains at the heart of her work.
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