After making a mark in its outdoor line of shoes and accessories, Aero Club, owners of Woodland, is now promoting its formal lifestyle brand Woods through standalone stores. “The company has already established 10 standalone Woods stores while plans are afoot to add another 10-15 every year, taking the number to around 100 eventually,” said Harkirat Singh, managing director of Aero Club.
The company aspires to create a separate identity for Woods and not make it a sub-brand under Woodland. “Today, the lifestyle category has a lot of potential as dressing sense has become based on lifestyle, and is not based on durability any more. We can experiment a lot with colours and shapes in this line, unlike the outdoor category,” added Singh.
The Delhi-headquartered company is competing with international brands such as Ferragamo and Aldo in the luxury segment.
Woodland has a lot of standalone stores in shopping malls. Singh said the company realised that a lot of women coming into these malls were not fond of the rugged look. So, the company was losing potential customers. Hence, Woods came out of the stables of Woodland and was set up as a full-fledged stores two years ago. The brand, which mostly comprises luxury footwear and bags, has 60 per cent of its offerings meant for women and the rest for men.
Of Woodland’s 12 footwear factories, three are dedicated to Woods, which are already making 20 per cent of the company’s Rs 1,300 crore revenue.
The price point is 20 per cent higher than Woodland’s offerings and starts at Rs 3,500. The company has opened four new Woods stores in the past six months in South India. Looking to expand its international footprint, Woodland is also in talks with distributors in Eastern Europe to launch products in those markets. It will also start selling in Australia by the end of this financial year, Singh said.
Woodland has international presence in the West Asia, Africa, and China which it services through Hong Kong. The international markets form 25 per cent of the company’s overall revenue.
Registering a growth of 10-15 per cent year-on-year, the company is in the process of making inroads into tier-II and tier-III cities. It will be adding around 40 stores this year to its existing 4,600 outlets. These include both standalone and multi-brand stores.
Woodland is also creating a separate line of footwear and apparel to be sold on e-commerce websites such as Amazon and Flipkart. Online sales contribute around 12 per cent of its total revenue and the company expects to take it to around 25 per cent in the next three years.
At present, footwear forms 60 per cent of Aero Club’s offerings while apparel accounts for 25 per cent and accessories 15 per cent. “We are continuously discovering new products and incorporating them in our line for sustainable productivity,” said Singh.
The company has been buying fabric made of yarns produced from pet bottles in Taiwan to make apparel for sustainable and environment-friendly production.