Katmandu Footwear makers foray into women’s segment

Nepali footwear manufacturers that have been making their presence felt in the domestic market with a wide range of shoes have started diversifying into women’s shoes with the aim of gaining a foothold in the ladies segment.

A number of other companies are also planning to enter this segment as the domestic women’s footwear market has been growing fast. In recent years, the number of customers buying Nepali products has increased significantly. According to traders, Nepali footwear has secured a market share of 60-70 percent.

Shikhar Shoes, one of the largest shoe manufacturers in Nepal, has forayed into ladies footwear by launching a wide range of ladies sandals.
“Domestic footwear manufacturers are on the way to increasing their market share and contributing to import substitution in the men’s party, casual and formal wear segments, but a lot remains to be done in the women’s segment. So we have entered the ladies footwear segment,” said Ram Krishna Prasai, managing director of Shikhar Shoes.

Shikhar’s ladies sandals cost between Rs350 and Rs550. The company recently launched new ladies slippers in 25 models for the Teej festival. “Currently, we have only casual wear but we are planning to launch party wear too,” added Prasai.

Suraj Banjade, the chairman of Shoeland which has been manufacturing ladies shoes for the past few years, said that customers were choosing Nepali sandals over imported products due to durability and good service facility.

“We are manufacturing ladies shoes as per the needs of fashionable customers,” he said, adding that they were witnessing a 20-25 percent annual growth. According to him, the company sells around 500-600 pairs of shoes daily. The company offers 90 models of ladies wear priced between Rs300 and Rs1,360.

Mahesh Kumar Baheti, the country head of Magic Footwear, said that they were trying to replace imported ladies shoes by launching new designs every two weeks.

“Generally, female customers buy more footwear than male customers, and their fashion also changes every other day. So are trying to entice female customers with a wide range of newly designed models,” he said.
The company offers 70 models of ladies sandals in the price range of Rs125 to Rs849. “We have a wide range of ladies footwear for all types of customers from bankers and teachers to housewives,” added Baheti. According to him, the company sells 2,000 pairs of ladies footwear daily through its 16 brand shops across the country.

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