We are contemplating venturing into new categories: Rahul Vira, CEO, Skechers
Vira says the brand is going strong and has seen a great double digit growth year on year
Following the success of their GOrun range, American sports lifestyle brand Skechers Performance has launched the GORun7 variant.
Skechers is the only brand globally that has an exclusive category called ‘walking shoes’. exchange4media caught up with Rahul Vira, CEO, Skechers, to find out what’s next from Skechers, how sports sponsorship is booming in India, why did they not associate with ICC World Cup 2019, and more.
According to Vira, the brand is going strong and has seen a great double digit growth year on year.
When asked why Skechers did not associate with ICC World Cup 2019 like their competitors, Vira points out, “I feel there is still time for us to be there (Cricket World Cup). We are growing strong in India after drawing huge success globally.”
Vira believes that India’s sports sector is undergoing an interesting period pertaining to how sports sponsorship is picking up pace and the future it holds. “It’s an interesting thing. Earlier, it was only cricket as a sport in India which was highly recognised. But, as the landscape is changing, it is good and interesting to see other sports also coming to the mainstream and being in the limelight. In the long run, sports sponsorship will give Skechers lot of opportunities to get associated with different sports,” he says,
E-commerce has been contributing relatively little to the sales growth of Skechers, and, according to Vira, they have been doing this consciously. “We had different things in mind and we didn’t want to huddle or chase. We were treading cautiously. We do business and involve with all of them, but it’s important to have a constructive role rather than going overboard and have our products on sale or discount.”
He, however, says that they have been spending huge on the digital medium.
Talking about the trend of brands having one celebrity endorser, Vira says, “There are two different elements. One is having a celebrity endorser and another is having influencers who are associated with a brand for a shorter period. Both have different sciences and are selected as per the brand strategy. We feel that it is good to have multiple celebrities joining us rather than having one endorser.”
Vira further says that Skechers’ focus has always been shoes. However, the company is contemplating venturing into other categories such as apparel, accessories etc.
“As far as the global market is considered, consumers are very particular about the category from which they want to pick up their shoes. However in India, the consumers aren’t that particular. But the Indian market too is changing and the consumers now know what they have to pick up and what would suit them,” he says.
Vira says that Skechers, which is now approximately around seven years old, has learnt a lot since its inception in India. There have been lot of researches, feedbacks and upgradations of shoes and techniques to ensure that the brand stands out.
“We are connecting with consumers on every platform. Skechers helped out during the Odisha cyclone. Also, Skechers has been making constant connect with the consumers. We conduct summer activities for kids so that they get involved in outdoor sports and are not glued to online games.”
When asked what’s next from Skechers, Vira says “there are lot of categories coming in.”
“One would see Skechers across the board, right from performance to lifestyle. There is a lot in pipeline, but we want to keep it under wraps right now and keep it exciting for the consumers,” he signs off.
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