Of Rs 15,000 crores Indian footwear market, most revenue comes from size 8 and below. If you’re a six footer and athletic with foot size of 12 or 13, it is very unlikely you would find decent footwear in any of the swanky malls or the industry chains. With better diets and growth, many men and women are finding getting the right footwear as a major problem. If you are size 12 or size 11, options are few and limited. While international brands sell sports shoes in larger sizes, formals are almost non-existent in market. It is either the good old cobbler in a spooky old part of Nizamuddin in Delhi or Mumbai’s Nagpada or Shivaji nagar in Bangalore, or a pick up from friends or relatives from US or UK. Interestingly, women footwear market is also witnessing demand for larger sizes. While smaller sizes were the norm till about 4 years back, demand for larger sizes women has increased. With average turns of 3.4 footwear per year, women form a sizeable unmet market.
Market estimate for big sizes is around Rs 395 crores and growing at 25% year on year. What is more promising is that the average price for the big foot is higher than the normal and the margins are pretty attractive. While brick and mortar may be an expensive way into this market, e-com venture on the lines of Canada’s “Poppy Barley”, is a low cost approach that can be easily adopted in India. For one most these customers depend on “words of mouth” and have strong preferences. Brand association in the larger segments is weak and price can be a determinant. Internet can be used to get scale and reduce real estate investment for the venture. Made-to-measure can not only work for big footers, the venture can also tap related markets like horse riders shoes (another growing fad in Metros & tier 2).