Crocs eyes bigger Indian footprint

US footwear brand Crocs will strengthen its Indian network, with 19 new stores to be added this year.

Through a joint venture with Chogori Footwear, Crocs has built a network of 21 exclusive stores in India since it arrived in 2007. This year will see that extended to about 40 Crocs stores, according to Crocs VP for India, Africa and Middle East Florent, Andre Bailly, who added most of them will be in larger cities.

“There is tremendous potential for growth. We have probably grown very fast during our first five years. We have been doubling year on year. I think this is the market where you can very easily get 25-30 per cent growth a year if your product and distribution are good,” Bailly said.

While known for “fun and casual footwear”, Crocs will soon launch a formal footwear range as part of extending its product offering.

“We are doing some tests with formal wear for men. We are looking at this because this is what Crocs will be in future. We will always be fun but we will also have formals. We also plan to do this for women.”

Apart from expanding its mainstay product, Crocs will also launch accessories following a licensing agreement with Accessory Exchange. The agreement gives Crocs the right to offer accessories such as bags, gloves, backpacks, hats and socks under the Crocs brand.

“We have had discussions with a number of people. So, you may see in six months time a few optic shops selling eyewear with the Crocs brand. But it is not our core business. We are taking advantage of an opportunity to get royalties as long as it is not in conflict with our business,” said Bailly.

Founded in 2002 by three friends George Beodecker, Scott Seamans and Duke Hanson, Crocs is committed to making lightweight, slip-resistant and functional shoes.



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