Over the past few years, the footwear industry has been growing at a steady pace. The rising demand for designer, trendy yet comfortable footwear among all age groups is the foremost factor driving the industry. The global footwear market is segregated by variety of footwear, end-users of footwear, sales approaches, material used, and their sales across various geographies. Leather footwear are premium products occupying a noteworthy market share in the global footwear market. Besides, increasing health concerns have been influencing individuals to carry out various physical activities, resulting in the high demand for athletic shoes, in turn increasing the demand for footwear…

Market Data & Growth Level
As far as stats are concerned the highest revenue comes from Asia Pacific countries. It is expected to grow to $155 million by 2020 which a 7 percent growth every year. Women’s footwear is the highest revenue generating segment. The performance of non-athletic footwear is also not bad. The segment is expected to reach $ 207 million by 2020.

In the current scenario, the footwear market in India is equally dominated by men’s footwear and women’s footwear and is expected grow at a CAGR of 20 percent by 2020. While the industry is currently dominated by the unorganized domestic SME footwear manufacturers, but with change in consumer behaviours and ultra-modern lifestyles of new-age consumers, footwear manufactured by medium and large brands are likely to witness higher sales in the coming future.

Being a traditionally labour-intensive sector, the footwear industry in India is currently transforming towards a more technological as well as innovative driven sector, with an increasing number of small and big footwear manufacturers focusing more on developing newer technologies and introducing better products in the market. Today, India’s footwear industry has evolved into a highly specialized industry, where machine production with a systematic labour flow is facilitating the industry to an international level.

The Indian footwear market is likely to drive more by the increasing fashion consciousness among the youth and growing consumer preference to their lifestyles. Moreover, the broadening of footwear retail sector, as well as the growing e-commerce market in India are also expected to further uplift the performance of India’s footwear industry in future.

India’s Share in Front of the International Market

  • India is the second largest global producer of footwear after China, accounting for 13 percent of global footwear production of 16 billion pairs.
  • India produces 2 billion pairs of different categories of footwear constituting almost equal percentage of leather and non leather footwear.
  • India is the third largest footwear consuming country after China and USA with consumption of nearly 1.66 pairs while average global consumption is 3.0 pairs.
  • There are nearly 15,000 units engaged in manufacturing footwear in India with total turnover estimated at `50,000 crore including `32,000 Crores for Domestic market and `18,000 Crores for exports.
  • Prominent global brands like Nunn Bush, Stacy Adams, Gabor, Clarks, Nike, Reebok, Hasley and many more are manufactured under Indian licences. Furthermore, outsourcing quality footwear from India by global retail chains at competitive prices is one of the highest contributing factors to the strength of the Indian footwear market.

Factors Leading to the Growth of the Indian Footwear Market

The footwear industry in India has been the most significant constituent in the esteemed textile and garment industry, widening employment opportunities as well as contributing significantly to the export earnings and overall economic growth in India. One of the major factors that have shaped the growth of the Indian footwear market is the rising demand for fashionable yet comfortable footwear among all age groups. The increasing number of fashion weeks, exhibitions, and trade fairs give boost to designers to launch new products or collections in order. These days due to change in lifestyle and busy work schedules results in severe health problems such as obesity, heart diseases and many more. Thus, increasing demand for sports and athletic shoes among health-conscious customers are also one of the important factors towards growth of the Indian footwear market. As far as sales are concerned, it has been noticed that over the past few decades, the introduction of new footwear designs, patterns, styles have truly helped in grabbing the attention of customers and at the same time, this resulted in creating new customers base as well. Into the bargain, there are some more factors leads to the broadening of the Indian footwear market:

  • Change in buying nature and increasing demand of customers
  • Increasing disposable income
  • Growing customers’ preference towards fitness, comfort and latest fashion trends

Adapting Sustainability

Embracing sustainability is the key component that leads to the growth of the footwear market as a whole. Over the past few years, the Indian footwear market has adopted a number of strategies to improve sustainability. Despite this, manufacturing sustainable footwear that fulfils the needs and wants of end-users continues to be a considerable challenge for the footwear industry. Here are a few strategies that have been adopted by the Indian footwear industry:

    1. Instead of discarding waste that is generated from the manufacturing of shoes, brands are incorporating the waste into the making more footwear and other products. The turning of garbage into new products results in making the brands’ business models more discoid. Besides, the whole process is creating a substantial positive impact on the environment.
    1. For the past few years, footwear brands have been making continuous efforts towards using natural and recycled products. Leather, textiles, adhesives, synthetic rubber, etc are some important materials that are used in the manufacturing of footwear. Due to the absence of sustainability profile in these materials, nowadays footwear brands have identified the alternative of such materials to achieve sustainability. Let’s have a look at the alternatives:
    Adhesives are widely used in the production of footwear. However, presently water-based adhesives are generally preferred by the footwear brands in order to attain sustainability.
    To make footwear more comfortable, polyurethane foams are largely used in the making of footwear. Due to its chemical nature, it can be replaced with plant-based products with a similar chemical profile not fully but partially. One of the natural replacements of polyurethane foam is based on a soybean extract which allows a significant reduction in the overall use of fossil fuels.
    Synthetic rubbers are considered to be the most popular choice as a sole material but at the same time, it does have a poor environmental pro􀃺 le. The use of natural fillers such as rice husks and natural rubber results in the improvement of both the product quality as well as sustainability profile.
    Whilst the hide raw material is a sustainable product, the appropriate selection of tanning and processing chemicals can have a large influence on the overall profile. In addition to the use of natural tans such as the use of vegetable extracts, the partial or full use of plant extract and natural dyestuffs can lead to improved sustainability. In certain cases, leather may be completely replaced by sustainable textiles.
    There are a wide range of textiles and coated fabrics used as both uppers and lining materials many of which are petrochemical based and unsustainable. Alternative natural based textiles are available with examples including hemp, jute, silk, flax, cotton, bamboo, coconut, linen, wool and cashmere. In addition to these natural based alternatives, recycled polyester such as plastic bottles have been used in both garments and footwear products. Recycled coffee grounds also have been used as a component in linings.

New Trends
The new trends that we are seeing are of the companies exploring the e-commerce space. Even at Liberty shoes we have been able to cater to a youthful and fashion-conscious customer base online. We track our repeat purchases, which leads to encouraging results. Our marketing team aggressively runs online marketing campaigns that have yielded good results. We see a lot of churn happening in the footwear space. These are being affected by governmental policies as they are pro-industry and make it a business worth investing in. As a popular industry for job creation, it has been getting due focus of the policy makers. Even the retailing investment policies will help upgrade the industry standards in the coming years.

I am very optimistic that the growth will come from retail, distribution and institutional sales. Retail will always be the biggest contributor to revenue but distribution and B2B have a much higher growth parameter. This trend is also seen across all the shoe players in the market.

Another trend that is widely seen across the shoe players that they are looking for deeper penetration in exiting tier II and tier III cities instead of venturing into new ones. A big trend is that consumers are becoming highly conscious of the footwear they buy. Instead of having a multipurpose shoe, consumers want different footwear for every occasion.

There is a different shoe to meet friends, another for office, and formal ones for parties. Then there are walking shoes, running shoes and gym shoes.

Innovation beyond comfort is a key facet which is driving the future of the footwear industry. Trendy, breathable, lightweight and washable footwear are what people of all age groups look for these days. Constant innovation is the key to customer satisfaction and growth. One should focus constantly on improvising and innovating to come up with the best for customers. We emphasize on comfortable and fashionable walk through technologies like memory insole, genuine leather, sweat absorbing technology and breathable material that makes the shoes worth purchasing.

Accessories Data Category

Indian Buying Behaviour
Customer buying behaviour is immeasurable. Each customer has different needs and wants, and their buying choices vary accordingly. However, consumer buying behaviour largely depends on their attitudes, intentions, preferences, incomes among all. The following are some factors that affect consumer buying behaviour.

    1. Cultural Factor – Culture, subculture and social class highly influence the customer’s buying behaviour. It consists of a set of basic values, ideologies, wants and behaviour of a particular community or group of individuals. Every individual has their principles, values, needs, habits, philosophies which he/she has learned from their family members.
    1. Personal Factors – Variables such as age and lifestyle stage, occupation, demographics, opinions, etc consists of personal factors. These personal factors have a great impact on consumer’s buying behaviour.
    1. Lifestyle – Consumer’s lifestyle is also one of the important factors affecting the consumer’s buying behaviour. It means the way a person lives in the society and is determined by his interests, opinions, activities etc.
    1. Personality – Personality changes from person to person, time to time and place to place. Hence, it can greatly influence the buying behaviour of consumers. Personality is not what one wears, more willingly it is the behaviour of individuals in different circumstances. Personality has different characteristics like dominance, aggressiveness, humbleness, etc which can be useful to determine the consumer behaviour for a particular product or service.

Challenges Faced by the Footwear Industry
Be it men, women or kids, footwear have now become a necessary style statement and mode of comfort. Considering the fact that India market is flooded with significant number of footwear brands nowadays, brands has been continuously trying to bring better version of footwear in the market. The footwear market is witnessing much more competition than past these days. So, as the forthcoming challenges has also been increased notably. Some of the major challenges for the footwear brands are:

  • No stock rotation resulting in outdated stock
  • Increase in the percentage of Customer Initiated Returns (CIR)
  • Increase in the cost of Reverse Logistics
  • Management of Multiple Warehouses and Stores
  • Management between Multichannel of retailing
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