Aero Club, makers of Woodland brand of shoes and apparels, is planning to expand its second brand ‘Woods’ into office and semi-formal wear (apparels).
This apart, standalone expansion of ‘Woods’ stores is also on cards.
Woods was introduced nearly a decade ago as a sub-brand of Woodland focusing on formal footwear for men and competing with the likes of Clarks, Aldo and Hush Puppies.
The initial focus was on international designs as compared to outdoor shoes and boots under the ‘Woodland’ brand.
Later, the sub-brand was extended to include women’s footwear.
Subsequently, it was elevated as a standalone retail entity. Approximately, 60 per cent of Woods’ current turnover comes from women’s footwear. The remaining 40 per cent come from men’s footwear.
In FY19, Woodland reported a turnover of ₹1,250 crore. Woods’ share was 20 per cent of it, or ₹250 crore.
According to Harkirat Singh, MD, Aero Club, plans are afoot to expand the brand (Woods) as a complete lifestyle one by adding formal and semi-formal wear range for both men and women.
“Woods found traction as a standalone retail entity focussed on premium formal and casual footwear. We would now like to extend it to apparels,” he told BusinessLine.
New export markets such as Australia and Canada are being explored, even as the company remains focused on existing markets such as GEC countries, Russia and South Africa.
According to Singh, Woods will be expanded as a separate retail entity with standalone stores. There are already 10 such standalone stores across Delhi, Bengaluru, Kerala, Hyderabad, Chennai, Patna and Mumbai.
The refocus on expanding Woods as a separate retail entity comes nearly after two years when demonetisation and roll-out of the GST had stopped its expansion drive.
At least six stores, all company-owned-and-company-operated, are planned by the end of this year at a cost of ₹10-12 crore.
These stores will be set up in malls with focus on Tier-I cities, or those which has a high purchasing power.