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    Lotto ropes in Columbus for shoes biz in India


    Italian sportswear maker Lotto has chosen a new partner — Columbus Shoes — for the manufacture and wholesale distribution of its sports shoes in India.

    Lotto has appointed Columbus Marketing to manufacture, source and distribute Lotto shoes in the wholesale market, a role which was earlier being handled by Sports Lifestyle.

    “From this year onward, Lotto has given the licence to Columbus Shoes for wholesale sourcing and distribution of the shoes range in India,” Columbus Marketing Director Sandeep Manocha told PTI.

    He said the company’s agreement with Lotto is for the next fifteen years. Columbus Marketing was established in 1978 and makes footwear at its nine manufacturing units.

    “Columbus will not only manufacture Lotto shoes, but also supply to 25 big distributors across the country, who have a collective reach of over 3,000 retail points,” Manocha said.

    He said Lotto has chosen Columbus as its new partner for shoes as Sports Lifestyle was not doing well in that business.

    “Sports Lifestyle was not doing enough to promote the Lotto business in India,” Manocha added.

    However, according to Sports Lifestyle, the new arrangement is the result of a tripartite agreement entered into by the three companies involved.

    “We have only sub-licenced a small portion of Lotto’s total business in India,” Sports Lifestyle Managing Director Lalit Kishore said.

    He said the licences for other products like clothes and footwear other than shoes are still with Sports Lifestyle. “Even the retail business for shoes will continue to be managed by us,” Kishore added.

    Lotto products are currently being sold at 50 exclusive outlets along with 150 shop-in-shops across India, which are managed by Sports Lifestyle.

    In the financial year ended March 31, 2011, the brand’s total wholesale turnover in India was Rs 60 crore, Kishore said.

    Lotto was a popular sportswear brand in the country during the 1990s, but went missing for almost 10 years before resurfacing in the Indian market.

    The company’s tie-up with its earlier licencee fell through, because of which the brand was not sold in India till 2007, when Sports Lifestyle was appointed as an exclusive licencee in India for Lotto.

    Last year, Lotto extended its agreement with Sports Lifestyle for the next 15 years.

    Source : Business Standard