US footwear major Skechers steps into apparel, accessories

American footwear major Skechers aims to have 500 stores in India in three-five years.

The company, which has been growing at a fast clip in the past five years, is also entering the Indian apparel and accessories categories.

Marvin Bernstein, Managing Partner, Skechers S.a.r.l, told BusinessLine that India is one of the fast-growing markets for the brand.

“I believe we haven’t even scratched the surface when it comes to the potential in India. We haven’t even begun to tap the huge opportunity that is there in the tier-I and II cities. We see India to be in the top five markets in the long term but it’s difficult to give a timeline,” he said.

“We saw 100 per cent growth last year. We are focused on exposing the brand to more people in the country and strengthening our distribution,” he added.

Skechers India’s current revenues are pegged at ₹450 crore.

Future growth will depend on the pace at which the company manages to ramp up its distribution and add new stores, said Bernstein.

Standalone store
The company opened its 90th standalone store in Gurugram last week. The launch also marked its foray into the apparel segment in India.

The company plans to expand its offerings in India to accessories such as socks, bags, caps and shoecare products.

Bernstein said the planned 500 stores will be a mix of company-owned and franchise-owned outlets. Skechers’ products are also sold across multi-brand stores.

The company entered India in 2012 through a joint venture with Kishore Biyani-led Future Group.

Last year, it got FIPB clearance for single-brand retail and increased its stake in the joint venture to 51 per cent.

Skechers is at present largely importing its products.

Asked if it plans to make India a manufacturing hub, Bernstein said it is not a top priority at the moment.

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