As the coronavirus pandemic hits retail demand hard affecting businesses, footwear and apparels major Woodland has shelved expansion plans of opening more stores this year and will focus more on online sales, said Harkirat Singh, MD of Aero Club, which owns the retail brand.
Speaking to IANS, Singh said that in the pre-COVID times the share of online business of the company was 12-15 percent of the total business, which has now increased to 20-25 percent, also because the several brick and mortar shops are still closed and are seeing lesser demand.
“This year definitely we have stalled the expansion of new stores and are focused more on our online sale, where we are making all our stores omnichannel,” he said.
Noting that this year, there would be more opportunities in the online segment, he said that the company is also preparing its new website.
“So, we will be building more digital content and see the brand more focused on the digital front.”
Singh also told IANS that the company will bring in more products in the protective gear segment as it has started producing masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) in the wake of the pandemic.
“We will bring in more protective products even in our lifestyle products, jackets and shoes, where we can do anti-bacterial. I think this will be a normal lifestyle for people as they will want safety against viruses and all…,” he said.
The company also plans to come up with a range of skincare products such as protective lotions.
“We will come into some of the protective lotions like skincare, as that comes in essential products. We will be going for a bigger line of products which is more for protection to the body and skin and whenever you are outdoors, which protects you from viruses.”
He said the company will be working with its partners to create some new products in this category.
On the outlook for the retail demand, Singh was of the view that demand for the company’s products may rise around the festival season later this year.