FDI woos global footwear majors to India

Tuesday, 13 March 2012
For years, the footwear segment in India has been ruled by unorganised small players but gradually a shift is being noticed. Now that the government has approved 100 per cent FDI in single brand retail, many global footwear companies are chalking out plans to enter the lucrative segment. And unlike many apparel and luxury brands, who are pondering over the 30 per cent mandatory sourcing clause, footwear labels are not worried since India already acts as a major sourcing hub for these players.

Over 100 global brands across footwear, garments and goods and accessories have been sourcing from Indian manufacturers, while about 20 brands like Clarks, Hush Puppies and Louis Vuitton have already entered India. The annual turnover of the Indian leather industry is estimated to be about $8 billion (approx. Rs 39,915 crores), out of which the export of leather and leather products was merely $3.84 billion (approx Rs 19,159) in 2010-11.

As per the recent report by management consulting firm Brown & Mohan, the retail footwear segment is very price sensitive and has been steadily growing. Major part of the demand is met by the unorganised sector and still there is a shortfall of 300 million pairs. Branded shoes account only for 20 per cent, while international brands dominate the higher end of the spectrum, the lower end of the market is dominated by home-grown players and unorganised players.

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