The India footwear market is expected to exhibit remarkable growth in coming years on account of rapid urbanization, growing employment, and improved standard of living. In addition, favorable government policies, infrastructure development, provision of skill education, and technological advancements are also likely to drive the market growth. Consumer’s purchasing behavior mainly depends on aspects, such as convenience, ambiance, and availability of varied products. High penetration of internet, influence of social media, and expansion of online shopping platform has resulted in a shift in consumer’s behavior. Growth of retail chains, integrated shopping malls, and multi-brand outlets are also likely to boost the market growth.
Robust growth of the fashion and lifestyle industry has expanded the scope of footwear business in India. Frequent changes in footwear and fashion trends is likely to boost the market growth. Dessert boosts and stylish ankle boots are gaining popularity among females. In addition, consumers are preferring shoe styles, such as sneakers for daily use. Comfort has remained a key factor during the selection of a suitable product. Indian population is becoming fashion conscious due to rise in global travel and advent of media. Growth of health and fitness trends among urban population is also likely to increase demand for performance footwear. Several lifestyle diseases have been observed in urban population due to hectic lifestyle. This has encouraged individuals to indulge in physical activities, which could, in turn, fuel demand for sportswear or athletic shoes among urban population. In addition, presence of international schools with enhanced sports infrastructure has increased demand for sportswear among school-students. For instance, D:FY, the new sportswear brand, launched a range of technology-led footwear, apparel, and accessories. The footwear range has been designed in Portland, the sneaker capital of the world, which is made for India. The range is intended for activities, such as gym, walking, and multi-sport.
End users of footwear retailing in India include kids, women, and men, wherein men account for a prominent share in the market. The kids and women segment are likely to witness significant growth in coming years. The market comprises organized as well as unorganized sectors. The unorganized sector holds a prominent share in the market due to availability of price-competitive products. However, increasing disposable income and changing consumer behavior has increased the pool of brand conscious consumers. Arrival of numerous international brands and growth of organized retail are likely to have a positive impact on the organized segment in future. For instance, Onitsuka Tiger, a Japanese luxury footwear brand, launched Select CITYWALK, the most popular shopping center in Delhi NCR. The store is a one-stop destination for numerous premium international brands, such as Muji, H&M, Gap, Zara, and Chanel.
However, presence of counterfeit products and manufacturing of duplicate products by local manufacturers are likely to emerge as challenges in the market.
India is one of the leading footwear consuming nations in the world. Major portion of India’s total production is exported to countries, such as U.K, Germany, France, Italy, and U.S. Important manufacturing centers in India include Ambur, Vaniyambadi, and Ranipet in Tamil Nadu, and Agra and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. The footwear business in India scores over other markets due to several advantages, such as low production cost and availability of raw material.
Some of the leading companies operating in the India footwear market are Liberty Shoes Limited, Bata India Limited, Relaxo Footwears Limited, Paragon Group, and Adidas AG. The footwear sector in India was formerly known to be a labor-intensive one. However, the scenario has changed due to increasing number of small and medium sized manufacturers, which are focusing on adoption of novel technologies. Manufacturers are focusing on establishment of machine production facility along with organized labor flow. Unexploited rural area of the country is likely to provide novel growth opportunities for the players. Companies are involved in novel product introduction considering suitable price ranges in order to improve consumer base in the rural areas. In addition, retailers in the market are focusing on development of omni-channel retailing and are utilizing in-store marketing solutions, such as beacons to enhance the overall shopping experience.
Research Support Specialist, USA