Relaxo Footwear stitches plans for pan-India presence

Delhi-based regional brand Relaxo Footwear is pulling up its socks to become a national player with a slew of new high profile brand ambassadors.

Having bagged Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif recently for its flip flops and slipper brands such as Hawaii and Flite, it has now decided to rope in Akshay Kumar for its sports shoe brand Sparx (Neil Nitin Mukesh was endorsing it previously) to gain recognition as a national player. Gaurav Dua, Executive Director, Relaxo Footwear, says, “Most footwear brands are regional in nature. Getting in these three high profile brand ambassadors is to help us have a pan-India position. We are still a north India based brand, but expect to have a presence in States such as Maharashtra and Gujarat where these film stars are easily recognisable. We would be spending almost Rs 12 crore on the new endorsers.”

Positioned as a mass brand, Relaxo has been competing with the unorganised players with its ‘economy’ range of footwear. However, for its sports shoe brand Sparx, it has pitted itself against brands such as Nike, Adidas and Reebok. “Our brand Sparx is targeted at consumers who have the aspiration to own big brands but cannot do so. We consider these MNC brands as competitors apart from Indian brands such as Lotto and Sketchers,” says Dua.

Sparx is priced between Rs 1,000 and Rs 3,000, a range that is slightly below the MNC sports shoe brands.

“Our volumes continue to come from the mass market. Slippers are daily need items and are recession-free,’” observes Dua.

As Relaxo enters new markets, it intends doubling its presence in multi-brand outlets from the current 15,000 points of sale. Besides, its 150 exclusive outlets under Relaxo Shoppe would also add another 50. Relaxo Footwear would also be launching e-commerce operations through its company Web site within a month. It intends taking its turnover from Rs 870 crore to Rs 1,200 crore this year.

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