Indian women spend as much on shoes as their counterparts in US, UK but they buy many more pairs with same money"
store business. Honestly we are pleasantly surprised.
The Indian market is very different to markets such as Dubai, USA or the UK, how did you prepare yourself for the Indian market?
Before entering India, we spent two years on research, trying to grasp the Indian consumer’s mindset. As part of the exercise, we visited lots of households, and talked to people about what they were looking for in shoes, what are the factors kept in mind before buying a pair of footwear, apart from taking a look at the footwear collection of many people including, men and women. The result was amazing, as it showed that there were women who had 20 pair of flat sandals, 10 pair of pumps, boots, wedges—almost everything in their closet. This was special about Indian women consumers and we had to understand this before we set shop here. Therefore, we have made changes in our own range of shoes for women including introduction of more colour and many more. We have been operating in India for the last 18 months and what we have learnt is that quite a lot of style of shoes that sells well around the world, also sells well in India.
As you mainly operate in the premium category where does your main consumers reside—in the metro or are they spread across the country?
We are in a phase where we are still discovering the Indian consumer. When we came here, we took a decision to focus on the big cities first. The initial idea was to become as big as possible in the major cities. In the beginning, we opened seven stores in Delhi, six in Bangalore in addition to opening shops in Mumbai and Pune. We recently opened a store in Kanpur, where the response has been phenomenonal. We also began our online store, recently and interestingly, the first few orders came from Mizoram. So I think we have a lot of consumers spread here and there.
What is your marketing strategy? You seemed to have intentionally stayed away from mediums such as television and print?
Marketing in our case is very targetted as we want to be present only at those destinations where our potential consumer is present. So far, we have invested in activations inside malls, apart from advertising in cinema halls. Moreover, we pay a lot of attention at the point of sale—that is window display, shop designing, etc. We still don’t have the reach to take advantage of television, so it made no-sense to use the medium. In the coming time, digital and mobile is going to be something that we will need to concentrate on.