US lifestyle and footwear brand Skechers said India could generate a billion dollar in revenues, helped by rapid expansion of stores and newer categories.
“We do believe it (India) can be a multi-hundred million dollar country for us, maybe even close to a $1 billion for us as we take hold and build through what’s a massive population as the middle class grows,” David Weinberg, chief operating officer at Skechers said in an investors call. “Right now, we do less than $100 million there. I think $60 million to $70 million as far as India is concerned for the year,” he said.
Skechers, which entered India in 2012 through a joint venture with Kishore Biyani-led Future Group, has been doubling its business and plans to add its own manufacturing units and newer categories. Globally, the retailer sells watches, apparels, socks and sunglasses among other merchandise. The brand opened nearly 30 stores over the past four months to take its total store count to over 120 outlets. The second-largest athletic footwear brand in the US, however, said volume is increasing, but at a fairly slow rate.
“It’s a little more difficult to get started in India, but the brand is certainly resonating and our stores are certainly coping up. So we have increased: it was a nice size increase, certainly in the double-digits. They did turn profitable last year for the first time,” said Weinberg.
Skechers is targeting highgrowth foreign markets to offset the weakness in the US market that has been growing in mid-single digit, against over 20% in most international markets. In India, it’s not an easy task — rival brands Reebok, Adidas, Nike and Puma — are much bigger in size and are also positioning their merchandise beyond lifestyle and cricket into products that can be associated with most sporting activities.
With a rising sporting culture, growing number of sports clubs across the country and an increased emphasis on fitness, Euromonitor expects the sports footwear category to grow 19% CAGR between 2016-21. In 2016, overall sportswear recorded retail value growth of 22% to reach sales of Rs 36,000 crore, according to the researcher. At the same time, the share of online retailing in footwear continues to rise, jumping to 13% in 2016 from 1% in 2011.