We plan to launch 60 new stores shortly: Rahul Vira

The new Skechers store is located at Ambience Mall, Gurugram and has footwear and accessory options for men, women and children.
“We plan to launch 60 new stores shortly”: Rahul Vira

Skechers- an American performance and lifestyle footwear brand is growing rapidly in India and has reached the 90th store mark within a short span of time. This 1500 sq.ft store at Ambience mall on the first floor is a Company owned and company operated. During the launch, Rahul Vira, CEO, Skechers South Asia Pvt Ltd spoke to indianretailer.com regarding the India specific growth plans.

Is it a company owned store or franchised? Overall, what kind of ratio the company has as far as franchised stores are concerned? Also, how many more store the company plans to launch in current fiscal?

This is the company owned store. So far we have 50:50 ratio of company owned as well as franchised stores. We plan to launch 60 new stores shortly.

Which Indian region will be on focus as far as brand expansion is concerned?

We would be going pan India, as and when we get good opportunity in terms of real estate, for example, recently got very good prepositions in Bangaluru, so we expanded there. Recently, we have opened store in Rajkot and very soon plan to launch in Punjab. So, many new stores will be coming up shortly across the country.

Kindly shed light on your best performing category? Also, where will be the focus now as far as category expansion is concerned?

For us it's 'running', 'walking' as no-one makes shoes for walking per se. Casual lifstyles shoes do very well for us. Kids as the category, I don’t think anybody else has the range in this category, so this category also does very well for us. Henceforth, the focus will be on across the categories as we are not limited to any specific category.

Any plans to foray atleisure category?

We have already introduced atleisure line to our stores. In fact, we have built an entire brand around this category. We are number one as far as women atleisure line is concerned.

Also, shed light on the apparel range?

As of now, we are doing a small assortment of apparel in India. Depending upon how the category will perform, we will expand apparel range.

Any effect on MRP due to GST as skechers falls in 18% slab? Also, shed light on your starting and exiting price point?

As of now we have not done any MRP change due to GST. Our starting price point is Rs 2000 and goes upto Rs 10,000.

How much investment the company is planning to pump up in this fiscal?

There is no cap to invest; we will pump in as much as it takes. We are here built up our business in India, and we’ll keep on adding stores whether our stores or franchised.

Today, we saw Taapsee Pannu inaugurating the store. Is she your brand ambassador?

No, she was here just for the launch. As of now, we don’t have any brand ambassador with us. However, we may have brand ambassador in the time to come. 

Rahul Vira