In conversation with Nikhil Agarwal, Managing Director, Campus Shoes, who talks about the brand’s expansion plans.
A very well accepted name in entire North India belt, Campus Shoes has aggressive expansion plans for this year. Campus targets males and females between 18-35 years belonging to middle and upper-middle income group and caters to Tier II and III markets majorly. The brand is acknowledged as No discount and No EOSS (End Of Season Sale) Brand (both online & offline). The brand is spearheaded by Nikhil Agarwal who tells us about the challenges for shoe Industry in India and his thoughts and plans on walking the path via franchise model.
Tell us about your expansion moves for this year
More stores are coming up in NCR in Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Bahadurgarh, Sonipat, etc. Our short-term plan is to open exclusive outlets in the country as we target a wider customer base. Campus Shoes has recently launched its flagship showroom in Kamla Nagar, New Delhi. With its one-of-a-kind brick and mortar showroom, Campus is focussing on offering premium products at affordable rates to its customers. Further, through this initiative, we are looking to strike a perfect balance between our online and offline reach. We will continue to expand out footfall in the county to reach a wider customer base.
Most brands in your sector are franchising. Relaxo recently started it. Are you also planning to come up with franchise stores?
Campus shoes is on a path of revitalizing itself and is re-looking at its business in context of current market and demand patterns. We have aggressive plans for both immediate and long-term future, and opening of our own brand stores is a part of this. Going towards the franchise route is one of the options we are evaluating but have not taken any decision on it yet.
What is the biggest challenge for shoe industry in India apart from the mushrooming of many non-branded players in the market?
One of the biggest problem the industry faces is that of unorganized players. Absence of strong regulation and laws makes it easy for players in non-branded sector to make counterfeit products. Counterfeit shoes severely damage the brand identity of the original product as well as the experience of the customer, which can then impact his future decisions with regards to a particular brand.
Unregulated real estate prices have a significant impact on the brick and mortar footprint of a brand. While this may be particularly true for the metros, but the trend is also spreading to smaller cities and towns as the consumption markets mushroom across the country. Shortfall in technical talent is also a hindrance the industry faces. Lack of talent pool is not just limited in the technical sphere but is also faced by the front-end customer facing staff level. The shoe industry may not necessarily be the first choice of employment as the retail industry has boomed across categories with numerous malls and shopping complexes have sprung up in India.
Are you also planning to take the brand abroad? Which countries do you target and why?
We have chalked a very clear road map for ourselves and if we find a right opportunity which ties into our plans we will pursue towards it.
Know more about Campus shoes: