Footwear brand Red Chief to open 50 stores this fiscal

Footwear brand Red Chief, a part of Leayan Global, plans to open 50 stores this fiscal and is eyeing a turnover of Rs 29 crore. The brand will further expand its store count in UP, MP, and Uttarakhand through the COCO and FOFO business model.

Manoj Kumar Gyanchandani, MD, Red Chief, said: "We plan to open 35 COCO stores and 15 franchise outlets this fiscal. A franchisee should have an area of 700-800 sq.ft. and invest approximately Rs 20 lakh. High streets will be preferred for the upcoming stores as they offer greater visibility."

He further added: "Apart from the new stores, we also plan to launch new accessories for men such as deodrants, wallets, handkerchiefs and other items by the end of this fiscal year." The brand currently sells belts, shoe-polish, and shoe-laces in its stores under accessories.

Red Chief currently has 33 EBOs and 3 franchised stores (one each in UP (Varanasi), Uttarakhand (Dehradun), and MP (Ujjain). Two more franchisees will soon be operational in UP and MP. The COCO and franchise stores generate 10 percent of the total revenue while distributors account for more than 69 percent. The brand has over 125 distributors across India. Exports to European and Asian countries contribute the remaining 20 percent towards its sales.

An individual Red Chief store draws an investment of approximately Rs 17 lakh. The store area ranges from 600 sq.ft. to 1,500 sq.ft.

The brand targets the age group of 25-35 having an approximate monthly income of Rs 20,000. The most popular price band among its customers is Rs 2,095 with casual wear leading the sales.

"Almost 85 percent of our stores are profitable. For the rest, we are trying to minimize the expanses. Our top performing store is at Pratapgarh, UP, generating an average monthly sale of Rs 15 lakh," stated Gyanchandani.

Currently, Red Chief has five manufacturing units surrounding Kanpur and  Haridwar. "We manufacture 5,000 pairs of footwear per day which includes 1,000 pairs of sandals/ slippers. However, the number varies season wise. We have warehouses at Kanpur, UP, Uttarakhand, and Haridwar," he further added.

The footwear brand also sells garments at its stores. It has tied-up with seven stores of Prateek Apparels (3 in Hyderabad, 2 in Bangalore, 1 in Delhi and Faizabad), which manufactures garments for the brand, for selling apparel in Coupon Stores. Red Chief has already tied up with Westside in UP and is planning an association with Walmart and Lifestyle too.

For garments, around 80 percent of the sales are generated from casual wear while accessories and formal garments account for the remaining 20 percent. Red Chief gets approximately 20,000 monthly footfall for both garments and footwear.

Red Chief ventured into e-commerce in May last year. "Our e-business contributed 6 to 8 percent towards our total sale last fiscal and the same is expected this year," said Gyanchandani.

Marketing strategy of the brand includes ATL & BTL activities, TV advertisements with Virat Kohli, the brand ambassador, and print and newspaper advertisements during December and January.

According to Gyanchandani consumer centricity, integrity and positivity, and thorough planning and execution have been the key learnings for the brand.

Currently, Red Chief approximately has 400 employees in its retail division, out of which 138 are manned at store level. Each store has one manager, two salesmen, one stock boy, and one housekeeping staff who are trained at H.O. level (including theoretical learning and factory visits to know how the footwear is manufactured).

Recording a 20 percent growth rate over the past few years, the brand recorded an overall turnover of Rs 180 crore last fiscal.

Leayan Global is into leather industry since 1995 with its own manufacturing units and an experience of 16 years. The footwear range of Leayan Global was launched under the brand name Red Chief in 1997.

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