Nepal Made Shoes Are in High Demand
Encouraged from the response, domestic manufacturers like Base Footwear, Shikhar, Fitrite, Coseli, Takura and Sky, among others, are leaving no stone unturned to introduce premium products in new designs.
“Around 55 percent of the leather shoes sold in the market today are manufactured locally. This is an increment of around 15 percent compared to last year,” said Hom Nath Upadhyey, chairman of Nepal Leather Goods and Footwear Manufacturers Association.
Upadhyay, who is also the managing director of Base Footwear, manufacturer of BF Dear Hill shoes, said they are now producing premium products, leaving aside the issues related to price. “Until a few years ago, manufacturers used to shy away from manufacturing premium products due to the price factor. But the situation has changed now,” Upadhyay said.
Base Footwear’s products are priced between Rs 400 and Rs 4,000. The company manufactures around 70,000 pairs of shoes annually. Premium footwear products costing over Rs 2,000 account for around 10 percent of their total production.
Takura Shoes Managing Director Navaraj Gautam attributed this surge in demand to increasing awareness among consumers about Nepal-made products’ durability and quality. “It was difficult for us to even imagine about producing premium products until a couple of years ago. But now, Takura shoes has products that are priced from Rs 300 to Rs 3,500,” said Gautam. Another factor catalysing the demand growth is product reliability. Even those who used to purchase cheaper products amid quality concerns are now going for high-end models. “Earlier, products priced between Rs 600 and Rs 1,000 accounted for a majority portion of our sales. But over 60 percent of the shoes sold today are priced between Rs 1,200 and Rs 1,500,” Upadhyay said.