Footwear Florsheim steps into Chennai with exclusive store

American premium brand aims to open 25 stores across the country
Samar Lifestyle, which is part of the $200-million Sara Futura Group, has brought back the American premium footwear brand Florsheim to India with its first exclusive store at the Palladium Mall in Chennai.

The company plans to have its second Florsheim store in Delhi, and open around 25 stores across the country in the next 3-4 years, said Mridumesh Kumar Rai, President, Group Office, Sara Futura. Apart from the exclusive brand stores, Florsheim shoes that cost between ₹5,500 and ₹15,000 will be available at over 200 point of sale at leading footwear chains and e-commerce sites, he told BusinessLine.

“With rising affluence and increasing consumption levels, there is a good opportunity for premium brands like Florsheim to establish itself as a major player here. We have ambitious plans for the brand in terms of sales and reach, with a target of ₹300 crore by 2020,” he added.

In January, the Sara Futura Group and the US-based Weyco group signed an agreement that enabled Sara Futura to design, manufacture and sell Florsheim products, including shoes and bags, in India and South Asia.

126 years of heritage
Florsheim has a 126-year heritage and history of creating shoes, and is known for its style, comfort, elegance and has a loyal customer base from businessmen to senior management officials.

On why Chennai for the first exclusive store, Rai said that Tom Florsheim Sr used to source from Chennai during mid-1970s. Out of the three stores in India during the earlier foray, two were in Chennai and one in Benguluru. People here know the brand very well. It was apt to launch the first exclusive brand outlet in the city, he said. The Chennai store has nearly 200 products, including men and women’s shoes and bags. While men’s shoes are manufactured at the company’s Ambur factory, some are imported. However, the entire range of women’s shoes are imported, he said.

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