The brand ‘Woodland’ owned by Aero Group was started in Quebec, Canada for making winter boots. The brand entered into India in 1992 when the Indian footwear market was largely unorganised. The brand is known for creating a new category of specialised ‘outdoor adventure sports’ shoes. Its product positioning was different and known as a rugged, outdoor leather shoe brand, the kind usually preferred by adventurists. The success of shoes category has encouraged the brand to enter into new segments like clothes, handbags, and the likes. Today, the brand is growing at a pace of 20-25 percent every year.
Encouraged by the tremendous response the brand is looking to consolidate its footprint. Speaking on same, Harkirat Singh, MD, Woodland Worldwide highlights, “We are expanding at an unwavering growth year on year and definitely we will be growing at the same pace. We are planning to add another 60 stores in this financial year that would be an equivalent combination of small towns and metros. Woodland as a brand is also present in international market for quite some time. We are currently working on entering into more foreign countries in near future to add to the kitty of our International presence.”
The brand is also working towards creating seamless customer experience as the part of its omni-channel strategy. “We plan to concentrate more on a seamless approach through all available shopping channels, i.e. mobile internet devices, computers, bricks-and-mortar, television, radio, direct mail, catalog, in-store experience and so on.Ever since the demonetization announcement, we have seen a sudden spike in both app downloads & merchant registrations. And this spike is now coming from all cities, big and small, pan-India, consisting of small merchants digital,” shares singh.
The brand is experiencing an exponential amount of growth in its online sales, and expects it to grow to 40 per cent in three to four years. Still, In-store experiences will remain an integral part of its omni-channel strategy. Speaking on same, Singh informs, “We see a higher growth in the online sector but brick-and-mortar retail still accounts for a substantial percent of sales in the country. There are still a large percentage of consumers who like to physically see and test the products before purchasing. Hence, In-store experiences will remain an integral part of our Omni-channel strategy.”
The brand is also mulling to shift focus on adventure sports gear category as the part of its growth strategy. The company has started to sell premium adventure and outdoors sports products and equipment for specialised outdoor activities such as water sports, hiking, biking, trekking, climbing, fishing, camping and para-gliding. The brand shares a strong portfolio for this category including hand-free umbrella, outdoor eyewear, camping lights, trekking poles, waterproof bags, UV Block T-Shirt, wet wick t-shirt, super Shell Shoes (Snake Bite resistant), etc and more. The advanced ground-breaking product range is particularly designed for people who love expeditions, outdoor sports and adventure. The brand’s consistent endeavour is to develop outstanding material and designs for wearable gear for Indian market.
The range also includes technology-based like grip shoes and jackets, super charged cotton, Wet Wick technology in apparel, cooling shirts which controls human body temperature in extreme temperature conditions in India. The super charged cotton apparel collection from Woodland is a special culmination of innovation and tradition. Normal cotton fabric infused with high performance material makes this collection unique, suiting the needs of people who dwell in the tropical regions of the country. The result is it dries five times faster than ordinary cotton.
Today, Woodland has grown to be recognized internationally as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of extreme weather outdoor gear and outerwear. Woodland offers an extensive line of footwear, performance apparel and outdoor gear. The brand now operates with a chain of over 600 exclusive stores along with presence in over 5,000 multi- retail outlets in the country. Globally, the brand is present in more than 40 countries.