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‘Demand of women’s athleisure wear growing at a rapid pace globally’

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Sport Italia S.P.A, a major name in international sports industry, is nothing less than a household name in India. The brand is manufactured, retailed and licensed by Sports Station Pvt Ltd (SSIPL) in India. The organization has been instrumental in the brilliant re-launch of the brand Sports in India, making it available across nation.

‘Demand of women’s athleisure wear growing at a rapid pace globally’
The brand caters to modern-day consumers who consider fitness a lifestyle

According to , Vice President, , since Lotto has been in India from a very long period of time, either customers have grown up wearing the brand or are aspiring to wear it. “The brand awareness of Lotto is so strong in India that many customers instead of considering it as an Italian brand, think that it is an Indian brand.”

Abroad, the brand is associated with football and tennis. But it gained its share of popularity in India in the running segment. Slowly and gradually as the Indian market followed international trends and inclined towards the athleisure segment from performance wear, Lotto has also changed its perspective.

“The Athleisure market is poised to grow 15-20 percent year-on-year. Seeing the immense scope in the category going ahead, Lotto also started changing its outlook towards the market by expanding into the athleisure segment. However, the running segment, football and tennis shoes remain core to the brand,” states Kataria.

Explaining it further, he says, “A majority of people across the globe have started participating in sports, not for competition but for their well-being, for interaction and for fun. They want sportswear which can be worn in the morning, afternoon and evening. They want to feel comfortable wearing the same shoes in office as well as to a club, and this is the major reason behind the rising demand of athleisure.”

Another category which has seen a spike in demand at Lotto is women’s wear.

“Currently, 30 percent revenue is coming from the women’s segment. We are targeting to close this year with 30 percent contribution from women customer including footwear and apparel,” asserts Kataria.

Target Consumer

The brand caters to modern-day consumers who consider fitness a lifestyle. It also focuses towards catering to the needs of serious sports enthusiasts. Lotto is also positioned as a brand, which delivers international standard sports merchandise to Indian sport enthusiasts.

Omnichannel Strategy

According to Kataria, there are two ways to go Omnichannel – to have your own website or to partner with various e-commerce players. “We have partnered with various e-commerce players as cost of customer acquisition is quite high with our portal.”

“Omnichannel is still evolving in India and in the next six months to one year, the entire system around Omnichannel is expected to get cemented,” he explains. Going forward, Lotto is planning to introduce their own e-commerce portal.

“Store integration from an Omnichannel perspective is underway and we can expect it to be fully functional in six months,” he states The brand, which has men’s footwear as the fastest moving category, gets 25 percent contribution to the overall revenue from online business.

Future Plans

At present, the brand has 36 EBOs across major locations in Delhi/ NCR, UP, Haryana, Maharashtra, West Bengal, MP, J&K, Uttrakhand and Gujarat. It has presence in over 200+ MBO’s including Sports Station, Reliance Footprints, Pantaloons, and leading e-com portals like Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal and Jabong.

Elaborating on the expansion plans of the brand, Kataria reveals, “This fiscal, we are planning to open more 15 EBOs in North, East and South regions and add another 25-30 stores next fiscal. Our plan is to double the store count in one year’s time.”

“In the next fiscal we will be adding 100 more SIS. We are also looking forward into new categories like bags, luggage and light fitness equipment,” he adds.

At the same time, the brand is expanding the categories like women’s wear and apparel. According to Kataria, Tier I and Metro cities are where Lotto’s business is and Tier II and beyond is where its growth lies.

The brand, which has been growing on 35-40 percent year-on-year, plans to grow at the same scale this fi scal too.

“The same store sales growth has been flatish or slightly negative as compared to last year. However, we are expecting to see a good season from January onwards,” he says.

The sportswear brand, which endorses the best of athletes in the sports arena including major names like Luca Toni, David Ferrer, Agnieszka Radwanska, Carla Suarez Navarro, Kevin Anderson and many more, is targeting Rs 150 crore plus revenue in India.