Kishore Biyani, Chairman, Future Group says his company is planning to step up its focus on men’s footwear retail since the category is becoming an important accessory for the Indian consumer.
According to Biyani, footwear today is no longer category defined for just women. It’s equally important for men – almost as important as buying trousers. With brands like Koovs, Lee Cooper, Clarks, Converse under one roof, Future Group claims to be the number two footwear retailer in India.
“We aim to be number one footwear retailer in India,” he says, adding, “Men are equally inclined towards buying footwear and on an average have at least 20 pairs to go with different trousers. This is the reason why we are expecting footwear to contribute approximately 18 percent to the overall revenue, an increase from the current 11 percent,” he says.
“We are expecting the share of footwear to increase from Rs 1,600 crore to Rs 2,500 crore by next year and we aim to be the number one footwear retailer in the country very soon,” he adds at the re-launch of Central at Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj. The contribution of private labels to the group’s revenue is around 40 percent presently.
At Central, Hyderabad, the footwear section spans across 30,000 sq. ft. and even in Central, Vasant Kunj, footwear occupies a major space covering 15,000 sq. ft. Area.
Exploring Central Vasant Kunj
The re-launched Central Vasant Kunj, spanning across 44,000 sq.ft area, is a high-definition store offering luxury experiences while keeping the price of the products at masstige level.
“Many online brands like Koovs, Craftsvilla have come offline with us. We are expecting an average ticket size of Rs 4,000 here and plan to take this up to Rs 8,000,” Biyani states.
With state-of-the-art décor, minimalistic fixtures and an aspirational fashion boutique feel, Central aims to provide a delightful shopping experience to its customers right from the time they enter the store to the time they reach the billing section. The space has subtle displays that compliments the store design and aesthetics. The store is designed and specialized to offer an enhanced and a more customized service to shoppers as per international standards.
The outlet showcases a premium mix of national and international brands in various categories like Men’s and Ladies Formal Wear, Casual Wear, Ethnic Wear, Cosmetics, Fragrances, Handbags, Watches, Men’s and Ladies Footwear, Toys, Kids Apparel, Lingerie and more. From brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Gucci, FCUK to acclaimed designer like Micheal Kors, Giorgio Armani, Ferragamo, Calvin Klein, Diesel, Roberto Cavalli, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Central serves as the one stop shop for fashion-conscious customers of the capital.
Central, which has at present no plans to go Omnichannel, has always believed in redefining the fashion and lifestyle retailing concept in India. Offering world class designs, with over 500 brands displayed in high definition and latest trends, the stores offer an enhanced and a more customized service to customers as per international standards.
According to Vishnu Prasad, CEO, Central, “Every brand and its products have their own story to connect with customers and indulge in the latest in fashion. We also have exclusive brands in store resulting in a new and improved shopping experience.”
“We intend to make next-gen Centrals ‘experience-savvy’ stores rather than ‘tech-savvy’ stores, s all services and features that we are offering will be in that direction,” he adds.
Highlighting the services that set Central apart from others, Prasad says, “We have features like WhatsApp shopping – i.e. if a shopper likes something in our store but is not sure about the purchase, we can reserve the product for them and they can Whatsapp us once they have made up their mind to buy and we deliver the item to their doorstep.”
Loyalty, cashback, wallets and HD services are some areas where Central has been focussing and has seen better results with technological advancements.
“With the help of technological advancements, we have observed a hike in business contribution from loyal customers and payment wallets to overall customers,” Prasad says, adding, “A few other features that we offer at Central include priority billing counters for our customers, introduction of many unique services like automated wheel chairs in store for special customers.”
Currently, the company is operating 44 Central stores in large cities (including Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune) and some in smaller cities such as Indore, Patna, Baroda and Surat.
“We shall be touching 50 stores in just a few months from now,” says Prasad. “Our focus is towards nurturing and identifying the relationship with loyal patrons along with using digital wallets and digital medium as an overall means to enhance the formats footprints,” he adds.
At present, Future Group – which is selling 30 crore garments annually – occupies a 35 percent market share in the fashion segment.
“We are expecting fashion to contribute Rs 70,000 core to the company revenue in the next seven years,” says Kishore Biyani.