US-based footwear and apparels firm Skechers is looking to beef up its presence in the tier II and tier III cities of India as part of the next leg of its expansion. During a recent store launch in Bengaluru, Skechers South Asia CEO Rahul Vira spoke to India Retailer and shared the company’s expansion plans.
How is the consumer demand for fitness products in India?
As a result of more awareness, everybody wants to be fit these days and fitness is a global trend. Irrespective of their income group, most people are ready to invest in fitness. Interestingly, not just fitness brands, even other categories of products connected to fitness are also growing. There has been a robust growth for fitness products in the country.
What are your expansion plans?
We have over 100 stores in India and plan to launch at least 80-100 stores in the next 12 months. We also want to focus aggressively on launching more stores in tier II and tier III cities.
What are your expansion plans for tier II cities? Are you looking at franchising model?
Franchising model will be on 50: 50 sharing basis, but that will depend on investments and locations. Again, expansion in tier II and tier III cities will mostly depend on the availability of location. We have a huge market in urban cities and we are consistently expanding. However, we don’t have a target number of stores to expand in tier II &tier III cities, but will steadily grow there too.
What are your fiscal targets?
We have seen 60%-70% yoy growth this year and expect to grow more by next quarter.
What are your marketing strategies?
From brand building to celebrity endorsements we have a big line up of marketing initiatives. We understand what is happening in the market, the changes that are happening in consumer trends. Through intensive discussions we try to deliver what the consumer really wants.
What are your plans to improve your digital footprint?
As of now, our presence is limited on the e-commerce platform but we do understand that the online presence is an important channel for the future. Although we are present on all popular e-commerce sites, we are available only in a limited way. Hence, we are planning to launch our own online channel ‘skeckers.in’.