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Footwear brand Crocs is focusing on India’s top six cities for expansion. In a chat, Deepak Chhabra, MD, Crocs India, shares the next growth opportunity for the brand
How has franchising helped to achieve the brand’s growth?
For exclusive retail, we work on a franchise model as a strategy and intent to continue operating through this model. Currently, we have 4 franchise partners - largest being with Metro Shoes and three regional partners. Going forward, we are planning to take the exclusive store count to 100, up from 38, in 2017.
Which cities are on your expansion radar?
For exclusive stores, the focus will be on top six cities— Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. These markets together contribute to about 50 per cent for any casual fashion brand. Besides, there will be few cities where we already have stores and we would be augmenting our presence in these locations. The broad strategy is not to add more cities.
We are also exploring kiosk model across the country. It is commercially viable. We have six kiosks currently and will set up 10-12 more this year.
What’s your biggest learning in franchising business?
The franchisee should not only be an investor but should know retailing, product, domain, etc.
The company is eyeing casual footwear for growth. Please elaborate.
Our strategy is more towards casual now. We want to cater to a wider range of consumer needs. While our core product offering remains intact, we are offering boots, wedges, loafers and casual shoes also. Crocs is no more just clogs and flip-flops.