Homegrown footwear company Liberty Shoes is planning to add 100 stores in this fiscal on the back of strong recovery in consumption visible in recent months.

The company is also sharpening its premiumisation strategy as it hopes to garner a bigger share of the comfort and athleisure segments.

Anupam Bansal, Executive Director-Retail, Liberty Shoes told BusinessLine, “In the past three months there has been a surge in consumption. After two years, we have seen very strong growth in the school shoes segment with the reopening of schools. We are now looking forward to a strong festival season in the upcoming months. Overall, we are targeting a 25-30 per cent growth over 2019 levels.”

The company is also betting big on its two sub-brands, Healers and Leap 7X to cater to evolving needs of the consumers. “While Healers is positioned in the comfort segment, Leap 7x is positioned in the athleisure segment. We will begin launching the new collections under these two sub brands for the fall-winter season from August. We believe the two sub brands could contribute 30-50 per cent to topline in the next 2-3 years,” Bansal added.

The Indian footwear brand is also looking at garnering better margins through a premiumisation strategy amidst inflationary pressures.

“We are closely monitoring macro-economic conditions, including inflationary pressures. Price hikes can happen only on new collections. So, we passed on some of the inflationary impact to consumers on the summer collections; similarly, with the new collections being planned for August, we will pass on some of the inflationary impact appropriately. We remain cautiously optimistic and expect some softening to happen in the coming days,” he added.

Talking about retail footprint expansion, Bansal said the company will add 100 stores. These will be a mix of company owned and operated stores (COCO) and franchise-run stores. Currently, there are about 450 exclusive brands stores.

He further said that 40-50 new distributors are also being added for stronger distribution of Healers and Leap 7x. The footwear company also expects nearly 7-8 per cent of its revenues to come from the online channel.

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