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With India getting fitness conscious, major players in sportswear category are gearing up to tweak their retail strategy
Sportswear market in India is expected to continue to post a strong CAGR of 12 per cent with sales expected to touch Rs 540 billion by 2020, says a Euromonitor report. With the growing health and wellness trend in the country, coupled with growth in the numbers of gated communities and international schools and increasing interest in sporting activities such as football, cricket and basketball, demand for sportswear is expected to continue to stay strong over the forecast period.
To encash this trend, brands are designing unique strategies and offering innovations. Rajat Khurana, Director, ASICS India, says: “Asics is positioned as a true sports performance brand, wherein running is our core. We offer products with innovative technology and are premium priced. We understand consumer needs towards running shoes and our merchandise has matched with the same.”
As the organized sporting goods market is growing rapidly in metros, companies have major plans for these cities. “We are aggressively planning to open stores in metros, keeping in mind the increasing number of health conscious consumer and growing young urban population base.”
Besides, US sportswear brand New Balance, which entered the country last year, has drawn an ambitious plan for India. Darren Tucker, Vice-President, Asia-Pacific, New Balance, says: “We have launched our brand with global positioning, while understanding the needs of the Indian consumers. We aim to open 50 stores over the next two-three years in the top metros.” Major brands have brought the New Balance brand in India.
To succeed in the franchising business, it’s vital to have a positive franchise relation. Talking about a successful franchisor-franchisee bond, Sanjay Roy, Executive Director-Sales, Puma Sports India, says: “Even in franchising, people have to invest and take the risk. During initial days, many franchisees took a lot of time to get on board, but whosoever came expanded more or less with us for over 10 years. Though we don’t share our commercials and under-right their losses, but we do understand the problem as a retailer and we know that we will do everything possible to correct the situation.”
“Typically when we enter markets like India, which is complex not only from the consumer point of view, but from the legal point of view we do that through partnerships,” Tucker states.