Tata’s to target women’s footwear segment with Aerosoles

With an eye on the burgeoning lifestyle footwear market in India, Tata International has introduced Aerosoles, a women’s footwear brand.

The global trading and distribution company of the Tata group will have the exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute the shoe brand in the country.

Aerogroup International and Tata International first announced the strategic alliance to produce and market the Aerosoles brand in Europe and India in 2012.

In an edited interview, N Mohan, Global Business Head, Footwear and Leather Garments, Tata International, outlines the vision for the brand. Excerpts:

Isn’t this your second attempt at retailing, considering that you shut down your footwear retailing arm Tashi a year ago?

Tashi was retail in nature, while Aerosoles has been launched to take forward our branding and distribution model ahead.

Tata International already has presence in the leather business.

We supply to Armani, Kenneth Cole and Zara. With Aerosoles, we will target the women’s footwear segment in the domestic market.

Aerosoles is already being retailed internationally. What are the plans for the brand here?

Tata International took over Portuguese firm Investar in 2011. Investar had a licensing agreement with Aerosoles and has 40 stores globally.

We forged a fresh licensing and manufacturing agreement with Aersoles in 2012 to grow the brand in Europe and India.

The footwear market in India is growing exponentially following apparels and we thought this is the right time to introduce the brand. Our aim is to sell a million pairs in the domestic market.

But the price point seems a bit expensive…

Aerosoles will be retailed between ₹1,900 and ₹5,000.

Our research shows us that the Indian consumer is ready to pay if they see value in the purchase. We may also look at introducing belts and bags to complete the portfolio.

How will Aerosoles be retailed? Will we see mono-brand stores?

Aerosoles will be retailed through multi-brand retail outlets such as Metro Shoes, Regal Shoes, Rocia, Inc.5 to begin with.

We also have plans to expand our distribution network through online, departmental and specialty stores.

As for mono-brand stores, we will have them in two-three years.

We have already tied up with online retailer Jabong.

We are looking at more such tie-ups to scale up presence in the online space.


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