Woodland’s sub-brand to set foot in premium segment

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 08, 2018

Harkirat Singh, MD, Aero Club

Woods will focus on leather footwear for women, formal footwear for men

Footwear and apparel-maker Woodland is repositioning its sub-brand ‘Woods’ as a separate retail identity focussing on luxury and premium segments.

Woods will focus on leather footwear for women, formal footwear for men and an accessories portfolio (including bags, leather jackets and belts). Offerings will be priced ₹5,000-8,000. According to Harkirat Singh, Managing Director, Aero Club, the makers of Woodland and Woods, plans are afoot to come up with a range of products, especially formal wear for both men and women.

Introduced seven years ago, Woods is into premium office footwear, while the mother brand offers outdoor shoes and casual wear.

While the branded footwear sector is pegged at over ₹40,000 crore, the luxury segment, according to an Assocham report, is just ₹450 crore.

Woods will be competing with the likes of Charles & Keith, ALDO, Clarks and a host of other brands.

“The luxury and premium market in India is growing. And the time is right to carve out a retail identity for the brand, especially after the good response we got for the pilot project,” Singh told BusinessLine. A standalone Woods store had been piloted in Delhi in 2013.

According to Singh, Woods’ contribution stands at 25 per cent of Aero Club’s ₹1,200 turnover in FY17. The share is set to increase to 30 per cent over the next couple of years.

While two standalone stores have come up in Delhi post the creation of the separate retail identity, another 10-12 stores — at a proposed cost of ₹10-15 crore — are expected to come up within this fiscal across cities including Mumbai, Pune, Ludhiana, Bengaluru and Mysuru. All the stores will initially be company-owned. An additional ₹10-15 crore will also be spent towards marketing the brand. Existing large-format Woodland stores will be leveraged to have a ‘shop-in-shop’ format for the Woods brand.

The company has already tied up with design studios in Italy, and is importing some of the offerings from Hong Kong, Taiwan and so on, apart from making in India.

Plans are also afoot to take Woods overseas, especially where Woodland has a presence — including West Asia, Russia and China.

Published on October 02, 2017

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