American footwear brand Skechers plans local manufacturing

After operating in India for the past three years through a joint venture with the Future Group, American footwear brand Skechers is planning to locally manufacture products in the country.

David Weinberg, Chief Operating Officer, Skechers USA Inc, said: “We would look at the potential of third party manufacturing and take the brand to countries in West Asia and Europe from India. The brand is growing here and we can drive quality sourcing by building capacity and processes here.’’ India is expected to serve as one of the manufacturing and sourcing hubs for the footwear brand in future.

The California-based $3 billion Skechers currently imports its footwear from countries such as Vietnam and China.

“We are trying to get an idea as to the amount of capital required to aggressively grow in India. The Future Group is already helping us with stores as we bring in the brand. Today, we have 25 stores and 700 points of sale and are looking at franchising opportunities,’’ he added.

The 23-year-old footwear brand has also has also been extended as an apparel brand in the US.

“Today, Skechers is the Number 2 brand in the US and we hope to have a similar position here. We are more affordable than our competitors like Nike and Reebok and the price differential between our competitors could range from two per cent to 20 per cent,’’ he said.

In fact, after it starts local manufacturing, there are chances of Skechers dropping its prices further.

Currently, it has pegged its footwear upwards of ₹3,000 going up to ₹50,000.

However, India revenues comprise less than five per cent of its global revenues of $3 billion.

Unlike India, Skechers is pegging larger revenues from the Chinese market which it entered six years ago.

“We already have revenues of $200 million in China and hope to double it by next year,’’ he said.

Going forward, Skechers may also seek FIPB clearance for opening its own stores since its competitors such as Puma and Nike has already got permission to do so.

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