New Delhi, May 2 (UNI) New Balance, America's No.2 shoe brand which forayed into the Indian market three years ago with 100 per cent imported product, has entered into an agreement with Indian manufacturer 'Moja' for outsourcing of shoes from September this year.
Moja will manufacture New Balance brand shoes as per the specifications of the company, which has planned to make India a sourcing hub for the subcontinent.
Presently, New Balance is available in the price range of Rs 1,800 to Rs 6,000 a pair, and after sourcing from Indian subsidiary later this year, the range will start from Rs 1200 onwards. It will cater to wholesale customers as well.
New Balance is celebrating 100 years of completion during 2006, the focus is on expanded reach at affordable prices keeping in view the coming Commonwealth Games in 2010 and World Cup in 2011 to be held India.
The 1.5-billion-dollar Boston-based New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc., globally recognised as a leading manufacturer of high-performance athletic footwear and apparel, has planned several initiatives to achieve a turnover of Rs 50 crore in the next three years in this country.
''There is strong possibility that New Balance would set up its own manufacturing facility in India, but no time frame can be fixed for that, depending upon the volume of demand here,'' Mr Darren Tucker, Asia Pacific Head, New Balance, told reporters here today.
''For New Balance, India is the most important and fast growing sportwear market after China in the entire South East Asia. We are focussing on India as we feel it is emerging as the biggest retail destination in coming 10 years,'' Mr Tucker added.
The existing tie-up with Royal Sporting House (RSH) will facilitate New Balance to tape the Indian market faster through the huge distribution network and market prowess of the company.
The Company will introduce its complete rante of footwear and apparel through an aggressive distribution challen. In the next 3 years, New Balance plans to open 50 exclusive outlets, out of these 15 exclusive stores shall come up in the first year itself. Also, its products will be made available through over 1000 multi brand outlets spread out in 22 States.
The Company has plans to have special arrangements with leading footwear chains oike Bata, Regal, Metro, Lords and Key Departmental stores like Pantaloon, Lifestyle to sell their products. New Balance is also available at 54 RSH stores all over India and Shoppers Stop.
''There is huge potential in the running and walking category which remains untapped so far and incidentally this category contributes 40 per cent of the total sports footwear market. With Indian market becoming health and fitness conscious, we aim to capture this segment,'' said Mr B D Nathani, Director Sales and Marketing, New Balance India.
New Balance has the uniqueness of 6 width sizes for a better fit to perform better, he added.
New Balance manufactures and markets technically innovative, width-sized performance footwear and apparel for women, men and children. The range of product categories includes running, training, walking, basketball, tennis and adventure.
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