India’s retail industry is undergoing a major transformation, especially in the men’s segment. The last few years have seen significant growth in male-centric brands.
The number of brands that cater to men’s grooming, clothing, and even footwear is increasing with India’s growing Internet penetration.
Initially, men’s shoes were synonymous with buying formal shoes, but today the category has come up with factors like style, comfort, looks and affordability. Delhi-based ‘Joe Shoe’ is a brand that understands these aspects.
From clothes to footwear
Like many others, Jyoti Narula joined the corporate world after completing her MBA from the University of Massachusetts. However, due to some reasons, he decided to quit the job, although during this time he was interested in the fashion industry.
With a friend, Jyoti started Genesis Colors Pvt Ltd in 1992, a platform for luxury labels from India and abroad, and ran the business for a few years. It also launched the Satya Paul Collection, which became iconic in India.
However, business aspects had to be compromised while running the creative shop, and in 2013 Jyoti went out of business and later Reliance Brands acquired the company.
Though the business closed down, Jyoti kept thinking about what he wanted to do next. He told BK,
“You only build a big brand in your life and I realize that I wasn’t done yet.”
Jyoti notices differences in men’s footwear segment. His travel experiences around the world, especially in Europe, gave him deep insights into the industry. He says, “There are very few brands in India that are providing stylish men’s shoes with top class quality and good pricing.”
Jyoti thought of it as “a really good place to venture.” Additionally, he noticed that the women’s shoe segment was also heavily exploited and saturated.
According to Jyoti, the success of the shoe making and its quality depends on how good it is and the ability of the shoe to last long.
Another factor that plays an important role in determining the quality of shoes is how the leather is treated. “Well-treated leather always looks and feels good,” says Jyoti.
Jyoti states that beauty and style are the two things that make up the company’s USP.
Some of the shoes are manufactured at the company’s facility on the outskirts of Delhi, while the rest are imported from manufacturers in countries such as Italy, Portugal, etc. Raw materials are sourced from various sources.
Jyoti says that when it comes to style, Italy owns the footwear market, followed by Brazil, Spain and Portugal. However he said that India is gaining popularity in the premium footwear segment market. China is also ruling this space in terms of quantity.
The price of the shoe varies between Rs 8,000 and Rs 15,000 per pair of shoes. It offers shoes in formal and casual categories. The business has also diversified into other extensions of men’s wear, including belts, fashion wallets, cufflinks, neckties and valid accessories.
The impact of the COVID-19 has been felt in all corners of the world. Along with the hospitality, travel, tourism and real estate industries, footwear space has also been declared bankruptcy by brands such as Canadian shoe brand ALDO and US-based J Crew.
Jyoti says that although “by heart, there are strong men,” but given the situation in retail and rental locations, “digital is the way forward.” In the pre-COVID-19 era, the company sold 300 units per month offline at SKU, while only 10 were sold online.
But now, Joe Shu is making his way through digital expansion. It is also present on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. It is also listed on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart and others. It has partnered with seven outlets.
Lesson from pandemic
The coronovirus epidemic has made huge and unique predictions in the world. Jyoti was in Italy in the month of February and so she has seen it all.
He recalls, “I was in Italy with a group of Italians who tested positive for Corona. The first person from India to test positive for COVID-19 was also in the same place. When I came back all the circumstances Loosen up. ”
The company moved all goods from malls and other locations to warehouses and placed a much greater reliance on online operations, which it sustained during this time.
However he says, “Such commercial setbacks are a part of life. It is important to learn from the epidemic. We are working on becoming sustainable. ”
Jyoti claims that Jo Shu has not yet resorted to any pay cut.
The company is in talks with environmental organizations and agencies to maintain sustainability in the industry. They plan to make shoes from recycled materials like sea plastic and fishing nets.
The shoe industry is a highly crowded market. Big players such as Woodland, Bata, Liberty, Adidas, Puma and Clarks are competing for a dominant position in the market with smaller players.
“Competition is healthy. It keeps us grounded and forces us to innovate constantly. ”
He also said that there is enough space for everyone to present their products and perform well.
While it may take some time for people’s lives to return to normal, Shoe is working on its casual footwear category to accelerate the market in the coming years and by forcing more strategic alliances with co-branded products Used to be.