Shoe major Liberty Group is putting a major thrust on institutuional sales during the current year. The company is expecting a 20 per cent growth in sales of its Warrior and Windsor brands of safety and fashion shoes to all the major auto companies in India.
The Rs 350-crore Liberty, currently ranked second after Bata in the Rs 10,000-crore organised footwear market, has sold shoes worth Rs 20 crore to auto companies during 2003-04.
Speaking to FE, Adarsh Gupta, executive director, Liberty group, said that all the major auto companies, including Maruti, have been big buyers of safety shoes which use the Warrior brand for the shop floor level workers and the Windsor brand for the executives.
“We are expecting to cross the Rs 25-crore mark in sales during the current year. Maruti and its ancillaries, Ashok Leyland, MTNL and a host of auto companies based in south are our major clients,” Mr Gupta said.
Liberty, which opened its first speciality format store called Revolutions on Friday in Kolkata, is also bullish on exports. The company currently exports classic leather shoes to the US, Germany, Spain, West Asian and East Europian countries and some CIS states. The company’s exports stood at Rs 88 crore during 2003-04. According to Mr Gupta, the company plans to export only leather shoes as Indian leather is in demand in the overseas market. During the current year, Liberty will focus on the US market as it holds the maximum potential.
Liberty, currently, has 350 franchised exclusive outlets in India and plans to open 24 exclusive Revolutions outlets within the next two years. During the first year, the company is eying 10 crore sales from 10 Revolutions outlets, of which 85 per cent will be from selling shoes alone.
The rest will be from sales of accessories like belts, watches, sunglasses, travel accessories and even artificial jewelleries.
Liberty, however, has also signed up leading fashion designers Ashis Sony, Sunit Verma, Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to design the shoes on a trial basis.