Johnston&Murphy forays into women’s footwear

Johnston & Murphy, the Amercian footwear brand patronised by US Presidents from Millard Fillmore to Barack Obama, is scaling up its retail presence by opening 10 stores and also foraying into the women’s footwear category.

The premium footwear brand said it had adopted a “cautious” expansion strategy for its brick-and-mortar stores, even as it was watching the online growth story in India. “We are unfazed by the growth in the online category. It has not disrupted our brick-and-mortar model. We have one mono-brand store in India and have been growing consistently,” said Gaurav Agarwal, MD of Premium Retail, the licensee and distributor of Johnston & Murphy in India, told BusinessLine.

Johnston & Murphy said it has a presence through 60 dealers.

“We are looking to increase it to 10 in next one year. The new stores will entail an investment of ₹15 crore,” Agarwal said.

Johnston & Murphy’s shoes are priced ₹9,000 upwards for a pair. Currently, the company sources its shoes from various international destinations which manufacturers the brand. “We source about 12,000 pairs a year. We are looking to increase the sourcing to 60,000 pairs in about three years,” Agarwal noted.

The footwear brand has identified eight cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Pune, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad for opening their stores. Asked if the company has an online presence, Agarwal said Johnston & Murphy sells a range through Flipkart.

“Currently, we follow the discounted merchandise policy for the online markets. Lot of our shoes that sell at a discount are usually from the previous season. However, our mono-brand stores will have the latest international collection,” he said. The company said it is targeting a revenue of ₹100 crore.

According to Assocham, the footwear industry in India is about ₹22,000 crore with a CAGR of 15 per cent.

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