Global shoe brands make inroads into Punjab

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Ludhiana, July 15 (ANI): The growing aspiration for trendy, yet comfortable and durable footwear has fuelled in demand for international high-fashion brands in Punjab.

And for the brands, it is an opportunity to provide the Punjabi consumer with products that have a classic elegance - tasteful luxury, enduring quality and beautiful craftsmanship.

Jimmy Choo, Pavers England, GUCCI, Moschino - just to name a few, the global luxury brands in footwear have already entered the Indian market. few years ago owning a foreign footwear brand meant a trip abroad, a gift from overseas friends/family or at the most an online purchase.

This changed with the permission for 51 per cent FDI in single-brand outlet in early 2006 that allowed foreign footwear brands to enter India. It also strengthened the organized retailing in footwear.

Hitesh Aneja brand head, Shoe Tree, said, "There is a huge potential I would rather see. People are willing to shell out money for a good product. They need styling. They need comfort and if that comes for a price. Why not!"

A majority of global brands are foraying into the Indian market through the franchisee route.

Bullish about the Indian market, Reebok, an International footwear brand, is expanding its reach by joining hands with Franchise India Holdings Limited, an integrated franchise and retail solution provider.

The Indian middle class has more money to spend on quality and designer footwear, and the working class too wants comfortable, durable and trendy shoes that they can wear to work.

"There would be two to three main reasons. First would be definitely the comfort level. You can find out shoes for 1000-1500 rupees but they are not much comfortable and I feel that the leather shoes of these big brands have longer life and longer shine. I am looking for some Italian brand shoes and definitely they give good comfort like sport shoes," said Bhupender Jeetan, an MNC employee.

The Indian footwear market has recently seen a demand shift from low-priced footwear to medium and high-priced products - and the huge potential that this creates is as yet largely untapped. (ANI)

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