Gems & Jewellery News

men’s footwear: From toehold to a ‘shoe’-in, men’s footwear is going places


Shoes have become the new ‘watch’ – or style statements – for Indian men, said senior executives of fashion firms. Men are buying more pairs of formal and ethnic footwear, along with sneakers, than ever before, insulating the segment from the overall slowdown in fashion sales, they said.

The executives said they are seeing men buying multiple pairs of shoes at a go, which has helped drive growth of the fashion and apparel brands into newer adjacent categories.

“Shoes have become the new watch for male consumers, and multiple pairs of shoes in the wardrobe have kind of become the new norm,” said Shailesh Chaturvedi, managing director, Arvind Fashions.

He said the wardrobes of an increasing proportion of men in cities now have more than 20 pairs of shoes, including not just sneakers but also ethnic footwear.

Arvind Fashions clocks sales of ₹300 crore of footwear annually, which it expects to grow to ₹500 crore in the next two years. The company sells footwear under Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, US Polo Assn and Flying Machine brands, and is now planning to launch a line under Arrow.

At Lacoste India, sales of shoes are surging 50-55% annually, compared to 15-20% for garments.While premium brands are doing well in apparel, the growth in shoes is very steep and has great future potential, said Lacoste India managing director Rajesh Jain. “Sales of sports shoes and sneakers have picked up in line with the increase in demand for casual fashion. It’s a global phenomenon, where most people want comfort after Covid. It’s also no longer taboo to wear casual shoes or sneakers in offices, or with suits,” he said. Overall fashion and apparel sales have been declining in India for the past four-five quarters, recovering marginally during the last festive season, as consumers cut down on discretionary spending amid high inflation. Big brands’ entry
Footwear, however, has largely been an exception for most firms. In the premium and luxury segment, which is insulated from the slowdown, footwear sales growth rate is two to three times that of apparel or overall sales.

Even quintessential shoe firms are betting on the casual and fashion footwear boom.

Bata, last month, entered a partnership with London-headquartered lifestyle brand Nine West. Bata India chief executive and managing director Gunjan Shah told analysts recently that the company expects the brand to become as big as Hush Puppies, seeing Nine West driving sales in the fashion segment the way Hush Puppies did in the formals segment.

Woodland managing director Harkirat Singh said the athleisure trend is driving sales. “Sneaker designs are becoming unisex, with different colours,” he said, adding that a lot more women are also going for sneakers. The firm’s footwear sales are increasing 15-20% annually, said Singh.


Source link