Woodland has always positioned itself as an outdoor and adventure gear brand. Harkirat Singh, Managing Director, Woodland attributes taking calculative steps to increase stores and footprint, working on customer feedback, and building the culture for adventure to the consistent success of the brand. With a history of innovative technology products, ResQ jacket is the latest offering to join the brand’s ensemble.
Founded in Quebec, Canada, Woodland was launched in India in 1992 by its parent company – the Aero Club. Since its launch over 25 years ago, Woodland’s prime focus has been outdoor and adventure footwear and apparel, which are the main contributors for sales. With its brand mantra – Explore More – the brand sells everything needed for adventure – back packs, tents, sleeping bags, walking sticks, et cetera.
The brand enjoys pan India presence and is available in around 500 EBOs and major MBOs like Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Reliance, Metro Shoes and other independent retailers. The EBOs are mainly concentrated in the metros and mini-metros; it is also present in many Tier-II and -III cities. All EBOs are company-run stores, and there are no franchisees.
In Delhi/NCR, it has 60 stores, in Mumbai 33, in Kolkata 14, Chennai 10, and Mumbai 33. Amongst the mini metro, Pune has 15 stores, Bengaluru 19, Hyderabad 14 and Chandigarh has 7 stores.
Woodland India has been growing consistently at 20 percent each year. By the end of this fiscal, the brand aims to cross the Rs. 1,000-crore mark. Around 70 percent of its sales comes from shoes, around 25–30 per cent from apparel and the rest from accessories. The turnover of Woodland in 2011–2012 was Rs 720 crore; in 2012–2013 it was Rs 860 crore, and it now expects to cross Rs 1,000 crore.
The main customers are the youth in the age group of 17–25 years. Woodland is primarily a male-oriented brand, as 70 per cent of its sales comes from men’s footwear.
Woodland targets the youth, hence their activities are planned around them. “We try to do a lot of interaction with them in schools and colleges. We tie up with programmes like Sunburn and Nokia Fest, where youth turn up in large numbers. Here we try to build the culture of outdoor where the youth can experience outdoor activities by creating outdoor zones and trying out our products. They feel more excited when we do interactive activities,” informs Singh.
In addition, Woodland has a programme with a new youth ambassador every month. The brand is active on social and digital platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and endeavours to stay in constant touch with its customers.
Woodland is one of the few major outdoor industry brands in the world to have its own integrated manufacturing facilities. This allows the company to test proprietary production techniques and fully develop and commercialise its innovative products.Some of their latest innovative products are lightweight jacket, the Super-Charged Cotton collection, Warm Grip shoes, Anti-Microbe shoes, Heat Lock apparel, Pure Green shoes and apparel, etc. Step up is a new technology that will count the number of steps one takes then calculate and display the distance walked and notify the approximate number of calories burned by the wearer.
The brand is quite slow and careful in opening new stores, as all the stores are company owned. Its shop-in-shop partners like Reliance and Shoppers Stop are growing very fast, hence the brand is also growing. It targets to open 40–50 new stores every year, which depends on getting a good location.The brand gradually plans to open stores overseas, like the first one coming up in Hong Kong.