The company also plans to have a direct presence in the overseas markets.

Dharini Nagarajan

New Delhi, Dec. 26

FOOTWEAR major, Liberty Shoes Ltd has charted out expansion plans for its business. It would be investing Rs 50 to Rs 100 crore in the next 12 to 15 months in a phased manner for the expansion.

It recently informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that it would be setting up a greenfield plant in Himachal Pradesh to avail itself of the tax incentives and to ramp up capacity of footwear, in order to cater to the sub-contracts from Reebok and Nike for the domestic market and Wal-Mart for sale in the US. The company has committed to making 500 pairs of shoes each for the two brands, and is currently in the process of executing the Wal-Mart orders which, it estimates, would add Rs 5 crore to its revenues. The proposed investment will be used to double the production capacity and to beef up its retail network.

The company also plans to have a direct presence in the overseas markets for which it has floated a subsidiary in Dubai named Liberty Foot Fashion UAE. Through the subsidiary, the company intends to open six to eight stores in Singapore, Colombo, Dhaka, and Dubai, amongst others in two to three years' time.

On the retailing front, the company has entered the lifestyle space through the `Revolution' chain of stores. It hopes to add around 30 to 35 new stores over the next two years.

The window of opportunity through the 49:51 joint venture with Pantaloon Retail India Ltd too would be maximised. Liberty would also be adding stores in 30 to 50 locations, which would be rolled out in different retail formats, including value-for-money stores, named `Shoe Factory', that the company plans to launch by March in Ahmedabad, under the joint venture, FootMart India Ltd.

The group also plans to foray into the real estate business and is toying with different formats for the same.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 27, 2005)
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