Woodland to shift focus to women customers

At present, this category contributes only 30% to brand’s business
Adventure and outdoor footwear brand Woodland is betting big on its new shoes and apparels business focussed on women.

“All brands are focussing on women and we have launched Woods brand for women to meet their growing demand,” Harkirat Singh, managing director of Woodland, told Financial Chronicle.

Woodland’s parent company, Aero group, which has been in the outdoor shoe industry since the early ’50s, launched the women’s brand Woods last year to test the Indian market, he said.

The Woodland brand sells a wide range of footwear, apparels and accessories for men, women and kids. “We produce on an average 60-70 new shoe designs for women every three months as women don’t like to wear the same stuff for long,” Singh said. These items carry a price tag between Rs 3,000 and Rs 6,000 for each pair and the fashion and party wear boots cost upto Rs 10,000. Significantly, there is not much inventory in this segment compared to the men’s segment, he said.

The company retails these products through its own 350 exclusive Woodland stores and some 4,000 multi-brand outlets across India.

“We also sell a coordinated range of apparel and accessories to help women make a fashion statement,” Sing said. He said in the west, 70 per cent of the revenues came from shoes and apparels business targeted at women and 30 per cent from men and it was reverse in brand stuff in India. “But now there is shift in demand with women thronging malls throughout the week with the sharp rise in working women and disposable incomes,” Singh said.

He said the urban women even from small towns were willing to spend money for comfort and quality. “We are seeing considerable rise in demand for our products smaller towns across the country such as Nashik, Nagpur, Solapur and Lucknow,” Singh said. The company said its fashion and party shoe business under Woods brand focussed on modern women is growing rapidly across the country. “While the company’s total business grew by 20-25 per cent, Woods brand soared by 35-40 per cent,” Singh said.

At present, its 60 per cent of the total turnover comes from footwear, and 40 per cent from apparels and accessories such as backpacks and belts. Last financial year, the privately owned company clocked a sales turnover of Rs 750 crore.

Singh said the company produces 4.5 million pairs of shoes and 3.5 million pieces of garments from its 15 shoe manufacturing units and 10 garment units in Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal and captive vendors in the country.

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