In the third session of ‘Retail Power Track’ at IRF ’09 the focus was on shoes and accessories that addressed the challenges and opportunities of the footwear segment in the organised retail industry in India. The discussion spear-headed by Manoj Chandra, VP, Bata India, put forward the strategies that can boost the footwear segment as a whole new fashion category.
Sharing the success story of Catwalk, the MD of the brand Asif Merchant pointed out the necessity to create ‘my space’ kind of an ambiance for the target consumers. It was agreed that more than customising the products, the initiative should be to provide a unique shopping experience. Sumit Jhunjhunwala, head of sales, Reebok India also drove home the need for value addition and innovation for the footwear category and positioning the products well in the retail space.
Anupam Bansal, ED, Liberty pointed out that the consumer has become matured enough to understand and appreciate the technology that goes into sports footwear. For instance, earlier he would use a pair of sneakers for multiple purpose and activities like running, jogging, playing basket ball and the likes. But the good news is that, today there is a growing market for specialized sports footwear for different activities.
So the way forward for the shoes and accessories category seems bright.
— Sayanti Banerjee, Mumbai Bureau