Flipkart claims top slot in footwear sales for 2017
Flipkart's numbers do not include the sales in the footwear category for its subsidiaries Jabong and Myntra.
Bata, which also sells through the wholesale channel, reported total revenues of almost Rs 2,500 crore for the period ending March 2017. A Bata India spokesperson said the company had racked up overall sales of Rs 1,954 crore till September 2017 in the first nine months but it does not disclose retail sales separately.
Flipkart's fashion head Rishi Vasudev told TOI the company aims to grow 60-65% in the footwear segment next year, targeting Rs 3,000 crore of sales by December 2018. Throughout the year, Flipkart worked exclusively with select brands to create new ranges with the help of user data which it collects on its platform. "Footwear as a category has the highest penetration online, and is still growing steadily. We have an over 50% market share of the online shoe market. Based on the progress of 2017, we are looking to offer more affordable, reliable quality products next year. We will reduce the price points as we collaborate with our partners," Vasudev said.
The e-commerce major will offer exchange programmes for footwear to accelerate repeat purchase, he said. Flipkart has pacts with brands like Ducati, Ed Hardy — to bring their range on Flipkart. It may use its much talked about artificial intelligence (AI) programme to recommend timely replacements.
Market analysts said footwear as a segment has grown at a fast clip online, forcing traditional retailers to have a counter strategy to boost sales. The overall footwear market in India is said to be about Rs 30,000-35,000 crore.
Technopak chairman Arvind K Singhal said, "Footwear was among of the fastest growing categories online. The competition has also thus become more fierce for traditional players. While everyone is claiming leadership, it would be fair to say that they are neck and neck in the race so far." He added that despite Flipkart's growing dominance, players like Bata and Reliance form a sizeable part of the industry.
An email sent to a spokesperson of Reliance Footprint did not elicit a response on the matter. Singhal said Flipkart's rival Amazon too has been pushing its footwear business, even though it may not be bigger than the domestic e-tailer.