This store in Bengaluru’s Marathahalli, which is already a hotspot with many branded factory outlets located there, retails Red Tape shoes for as less as Rs 499. Christened Millenium Footwear, the store also sells branded shoes like Lee Cooper, Franco Leone, Action, and Paragon offering heavy discounts.
When enquired about how these brands can offer such heavy discounts (especially Red Tape), the store proprietor said: “These are seconds from various brands that would have small defects, and it is quite natural that the company offers heavy discounts for such products.” He confirmed that these are not fakes.
In any case, the proprietor and the sales boy, who seemed to be below 18 years of age, did not allow any picture to be taken of the products or the store.
Meanwhile, a salesman at a nearby Red Tape exclusive store said: “The price of Red Tape shoes starts from Rs 1,199 and the formal shoes can never come below Rs 1,599. To my knowledge, the company is not supplying any seconds to this particular store. We offer discounts, but never sell for a flat Rs 499.”
It was in November that Bengaluru’s City Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths seized over 5,000 duplicate shoes worth Rs 2.67 crore. A recent journey into the lifestyle markets in Bengaluru reveals that the fake shoes and garments are still very much prevalent across the city. The Marathahalli store is only one among the many shops that are selling reputed brands.
“In this context, neither the proprietors nor the brands can be blamed. In fact, the top brands, which are spending millions on promotions, should come up with an alternative to help these poor people. It is their livelihood, and if a raid happens, their families will suffer. When a retailer is found selling fakes, instead of causing trouble to his 50-100 square feet business, the brand should join hands with the retailer to do business together,” said an industry expert.
“It is news to me that Red Tape shoes come for Rs 499. I haven’t come across any Red Tape pair that is less than Rs 1,000. Even the sandals are priced at Rs 800-plus,” a surprised customer at the Red Tape EBO said.
Red Tape has recently extended into apparel and accessories. However, the fake experts might be unaware of the recent extensions, since Indiaretailing’s search for Red Tape garments and accessories in the parallel market came to nought.
– Vishnu Rageev R, Bengaluru Bureau