In a bid to expand its presence in the county, American footwear major Skechers is focusing to enter Tier II and Tier III cities while setting up its manufacturing unit in country within next five years. The brand is looking to double the number of stores in the country to 100. Also apparel and accessories collection is also slated to be launched next year.
"This year we plan to add 50 stores, taking our count to 100," Skechers India CEO Rahul Vira told PTI.
"We plan to have a healthy mix of 50:50 own stores and franchise-owned and going forward, the franchise business would be slightly on the higher side because in a country like India, it makes more sense to go through the franchise route because that really drives the business in the markets where we don't have our infrastructure," Vira added.
He added that typically a 100-150 sq ft store entails an investment of Rs 1.5 crore. The company entered India in 2012 through a JV with Future Group and now has presence across 700 multi-brand outlets in the country. Growing at a fast clip of 70 per cent y-o-year in India, Skechers plans to expand its consumer base especially in smaller cities.
"We still are not present in a lot of markets. So our focus would be to enter those markets and build our consumer base. There is a huge potential for us to grow in the Indian market.
"In tier I and mini metros, we still are not present in the manner that we should be. Also, we will look at tier II and tier III cities but getting the right real estate is important for us," he said. It plans to set up its manufacturing unit in the country in the next three to five years.
"We would be looking at setting up our manufacturing and that would be our mid to long term plan. So as the market evolves and we start gaining grounds in the market, it would (take) three to five years," he said.
Skechers sells its footwear in the country and is evaluating evaluating apparel and accessories which it plans to launch next year.
The company, which received the FIPB approval for single-brand retail in India last month, plans to hawk its products through its website skechers.inlive by third or fourth quarter of this calendar year.