Hidesign returns to footwear segment

There was a time when Dilip Kapur, President of Hidesign, was passionate about designing sandals and shoes.

But it was in the leather bags and accessories segment where the Puducherry-based company crafted its name.

Years later, Kapur’s Hidesign is once again stepping into the footwear segment with a limited range of men’s and women’s formal and casual shoes.

The men’s range are expected to be launched mid-April, and the women’s 45 days later. According to Kapur, the idea is to extend Hidesign as a “lifestyle brand” rather than limiting it to a specific portfolio.

Selective launch

“Initially, the footwear range will be available across 30 of our stores in 10 large cities, including Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru,” Kapur told BusinessLine. This apart, Hidesign has tied up for online sales through Amazon.

Over the next six months, the footwear range will be made available across all its 74 standalone stores, including the 12 new outlets planned this year.

By next fiscal (FY17), when footwear is expected to contribute 12-15 per cent to the company’s turnover, Hidesign may explore the possibility of standalone footwear outlets.

Priced between ₹4,000 and ₹7,000, the shoes target Hidesign’s existing users, mostly career professionals or the aspirational segment.

He, however, ruled out offering discounts to push sales. “More than price, we are concerned about quality. We do not want to sell through discounts.”

Though there are lots of footwear brands in the market, the “purity of leather” will set Hidesign apart, said Kapur.

Currently, the company will outsource production for its footwear range.

Post launch, Hidesign will explore export options as well. Exports will begin with countries like Russia and the US where the company has a strong presence, followed by neighbouring nations like Sri Lanka and Nepal. Australia, too, is on the radar.

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