'The mark of a gentleman lies in his shoes' - that's the belief that we have grown up hearing. Essentially, footwear finds a special place in every style icon's wardrobe. Call it a footwear fetish if you may, but some style icons we look up to even boasts of having more footwear in their closet than clothes.
Further, if we leave aside the style quotient, footwear also plays a profound role in our health and overall well being. It is something that we did not realise until we spoke to a footwear retailer. Here is what he said -
"Our feet bear the entire weight of our body all through the time that we walk around. It is the utmost priority of a footwear manufacturer to make sure that the footwear he makes helps to render a sturdy base to the feet when it is on the move. Hence, I pick the merchandise for my footwear store with a lot of care."
He further added with utmost politeness -
"I believe that my occupation as a footwear retailer helps me to serve the feet of my customer."
His humbleness and dedication towards his business were indeed laudable. And it is the same passion and attitude to serve the end customer that we want to make the base of our understanding today, as we discuss how to start a business in footwear retailing.
Omni-channel Retail platforms
The past decade and a half have seen the retail segment to be on a roller coaster ride. Organised-or-unorganised, online store-or-brick-n-mortar - the industry watchers kept debating, while the retail industry kept evolving, creating an opportunity for every retailer who was ready to evolve with it. The scenario that we see now is more flexible than before.
If you are considering how to start an online business, the best time to start is now. You need not essentially have to spend a fortune to afford a physical store in the prime location of the city. Yet you can reach out to a wider customer base only if you get your logistics right, and your product can win the hearts of your target customers.
Choose Your Segment
As per the industry report published by statista.com, the 2020 revenue of the Indian Footwear market stands at US$7,923 million and is expected to see an annual growth of 9.6% CAGR between 2020-2025.
The footwear industry has several segments. Hence, the first task for a newbie footwear retailer is to zero in the segment that he wants to cater to. Let us see the current status and growth projection of some of the high revenue churning segments in footwear retailing -
Revenue - US$ 2,353 million
Growth Rate - 7.1% CAGR between 2020-2025
Average per capita Revenue - US$ 1.71
Average Volume per person - 0.5 pairs
Average Price per Unit - US$ 37.73
Athletic Footwear 👟
Revenue - US$ 1530 million
Growth Rate - 5.3% CAGR between 2020-2025
Average Revenue Per Person - US$ 1.11
Average Volume per person - 0.01 pairs
Average Price per Unit - US$ 76.36
Also read: Shoe Manufacturers in India
Leather Footwear 👞
Revenue - US$3,407 million
Growth Rate - 12.3 percent between 2020-2025
Average Revenue Per Person - US$ 2.47
Average Volume per person - 0.09 pairs
Average Price Per Unit - US$ 28.63 in 2020
Textile and Other Footwear 🥾
Revenue - US$ 632 million
Growth Rate - 12.8% CAGR between 2020-2025
Average Revenue Per Person - US$ 0.5
Average Volume per person - 0.05 pairs
Average Price per Unit - US$ 8.48
After having an overall view of the size and consumption pattern of the footwear industry, now let's look at some more encouraging facts and figures. It is one thing that sounds like a melody to the ears of every entrepreneur - Government initiatives. So here it is...
The Indian Government is all geared up to take the leather and footwear export to US$ 12.6 billion by the end of 2020. The government has also announced an incentive package of US$ 364 million for the leather and footwear industry. Approximately 60,358 youth have been trained for different skills to sid the growth of the leather and footwear industry that provides employment for around 300,000 people.
The key growth factors in the footwear segment have been the influx of several international brands in the Indian market. In the last decade and a half, several domestic and international brands have penetrated into tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Organised retail received a warm acceptance on a pan India level. And currently, the eCommerce boom that the entire world is experiencing has accentuated business possibilities in a manifold manner.
Things to Watch out for a Newbie in this Trade
Having discussed all things nice about the growth impetus of the footwear industry, it is also significant to understand the factors that will help new entrepreneurs to tap the pulse of the customers. So let's first understand what are some of the main factors that not only pull the customers but also keep them with you.
Understand the buying pattern
The past few years of the constant retail overhaul, raining discounts, deals, and cashback schemes have taught one thing to the customers. They have learned to get value for the money they spend. Further to that, the ongoing pandemic that has shaken the entire business community, has made them realise between their needs and wants. And doing business and justifying the price tags to the customers is more challenging than it used to be in the pre-Corona times. New entrepreneurs venturing into the footwear segment should keep these factors in mind.
Which Business Model to opt for?
Between a self-starter, distributor, online business, and franchise business, which model should you opt for? If you aspire to start up your own brand, the question you should ask yourself is - 'what is the disruptive business idea that I have?' You have to have in-depth knowledge about the footwear industry and you have to think of a business model that is completely unique. And if you can't, it is advisable to get associated with an established brand either through distributorship or franchise arrangement to ensure a more safe and secure way of doing business.
There is always a market for good products that live up to the customers' demands. And anyone who can tap that potential can hit gold.
1) How to Start the Footwear Business in India?
2) Want to Start a Footwear Store? Here's your step-by-step guide
3) How to start a Branded Clothing Store Business in India? Your A-to-Z Guide
4) Online Business Ideas You Can Start Quickly
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