Britain’s footwear major Pavers in expansion mode in India

April 12th, 2009 - 2:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) Britain-based leather footwear major Pavers England, which entered the Indian market last year, is planning to set up a manufacturing facility in the country, besides tying up with retail chains as part its expansion strategy.
“The agreement with Fly Flot is to set up a plant at Ranipet in Tamil Nadu at a cost of five million euros ($6.6 million),” said Pavers England Footprints chief executive Utsav Seth, referring to the pact with the Britain-based footwear maker and a subsidiary of Italian footwear major Lones Spa.

“Eighty percent of the shoes manufactured here will be for exports and the rest for India,” Seth told IANS. “We have also tied up with retail outfits like Lifestyle and Future group’s Central malls.”

Pavers England, which started its Indian operations with a capital of $60 million, is already operating one research and development facility in Ambur near Chennai, which is producing prototypes and shortruns.

The company currently sells through its Reliance Footprints, a speciality retail format belonging to the Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Retail, and will have about 60 points of sale in various retail formats by April-end.

“We have sold more than 20,000 pairs last year, and that is a big achievement for a brand, which was not very famous among consumers here,” Seth said.

“We hope to increase our sales at least three times (60,000) this year, and increase the points of sale to 500 by 2012,” he added.

The Indian shoe market is estimated to be worth around $2.8 billion with footwear retail expected to grow about 20 percent on a compounded annual growth rate basis.

According to industry estimates, the footwear sector has not been affected by the economic slowdown.

A report by market research portal marketresearch.com, titled “Indian footwear market forecast to 2012″, said: “The ongoing financial crisis is unlikely to have significant impact on the Indian footwear market as the demand for Indian footwear will continue to grow.”

Pavers also plans to bring its fashion footwear brand to India, but Seth refused to give any more details on the same.

The company had plans to acquire an Indian footwear retailer but gave up its bid after negotiations with the firm collapsed.

Pavers is now planning to focus on its brand and said about 300 products would be added to its range by November this year.

“It will give us lot more access to a number of multi-branded outlets,” Seth said.

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