The Future of Slippers in Modern India
November 1, 2017
If you were to find Indian slippers today, grab it. Why? Amongst branded slippers, Indian footwear producers are known for their quality and durable footwear manufacturing. They even placed second among the largest footwear producers around the globe.
However, what awaits the future of slippers and other footwear in modern India? Here’s what we know.
From a basic need to a fashion statement
Footwear was considered then as a utility. However, as people began to realize its importance in fashion, they soon created a variety of style, patterned it with wonderful to obscure designs, and made it out of different materials such as cloth, leather, and/or cork. Most of the time, you’ll see a plethora of options from branded slippers from India.
What drove manufacturers to this, though?
In order for an industry to grow and maintain its relevance in the society, one has to go out and explore ways to add spice in its purpose. In this case, while the industry of Indian slippers and footwear may have established a spot in the consumers’ preference, its limit and the existence of foreign branded slippers and footwear have triggered an enhancement on the business owners’ part. Indeed, the domestic footwear manufacturers have produced products that significantly fulfilled the needs of its consumers. The only thing is that, the world is changing, and so are the needs of the consumers. Hence, an upgrade in the product portfolio is direly needed to meet these specific needs.
Thankfully, the Indian market is still patronizing domestically produced products
In a recent report from Trade Online, the local market is still consuming 90 percent of Indian slippers and footwear, while the remaining 10 percent is exported.
To continue this progress in the industry and to also establish a reputation for local footwear manufacturers in the international scene, the industry is beginning to explore more ways to meet the demands of international consumers to increase their exports. However, as MD Sreeleathers, Satyabrata Dey said in the report, the growth in export will still depend on the quality and cost competitiveness of the products.
What trends are currently guiding the Indian slipper and footwear industry?
In order to predict the future of Indian footwear in the industry, it’s significant to know the factors that shape the footwear industry today.
The Trend of Casual and Athletic Shoes
Similar to any other countries today, Indian consumers seem to grow fond of what’s in trend in the international scene today, thereby, making it their choice of footwear. With that being said, the recent upsurge of comfortable, also categorized as casual, shoes worldwide by famous brands such as Nike and Adidas have been everyone’s choice by the general public – from men, women to kids! While there may be a lot of well-known brands that have produced this type of footwear, the local market still enjoys the locally produced sneakers and slip-ons by Indian manufacturers.
One factor that Indian business owners noticed about the market’s preference over footwear is that there’s a 17 percent decline recorded in the sales of heels with over three inches since September of 2016. This only means that casual shoes are definitely the trend today.
The Growing Trust in Branded Footwear
Over the years of producing Indian slipper and other footwear products, local manufacturers noticed a growing difference amongst their consumers’ preference and how the buyer’s journey of today works. As mentioned above, footwear was more of a utility before for most consumers. However, the recent statistics have shown that the Indian market is currently becoming brand conscious nowadays. This makes non-branded footwear to become conscious as well about their product. Thereby, with this change in the demand, the supply should adjust to meet the needs of the market and continue the progress of Indian slipper and footwear industry.
The Unfolding Opportunities in the Women’s Footwear Category
It is true that currently, the Indian footwear market is being dominated by Men’s footwear. However, according to RNCOS and Trade Online, the market is showing a double growth rate in the women’s footwear category despite the 30 percent market share it consistently contributes in the market compared to the dominating men’s shoes that has about 58 percent of the market share. As per analysis, the women’s footwear category (along with the kids) requires no organized retailing chain, thus, the said opportunity for purchase in the market.
The Shift to the Digital Market
We’ve seen how technology has changed the way people work on things. With this being said, it’s not surprising to see the Indian slipper and footwear industry to take a chance on the digital market. This does not only helps them keep up with today’s trend, but it also makes their presence much more visible and prominent in the global market. Through the use of mobile phones, retailers can now engage with searchers and convert them into consumers.
With how the Indian slipper and footwear industry is coping with the changing needs of consumers, it can be said that the industry is most likely to continue with its success and further stabilize itself in the market. Despite the growing existence of international brands in the market, it can be said that the local manufacturers will most likely extend its potentials, utilize opportunities, and grow more – given the competition.