American footwear firm Weyco Group has signed a licensing deal with Samar Lifestyle to exclusively make and sell its Florsheim brand of shoes in India and some neighbouring markets such as Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The firm also plans to increase sourcing from India, the second largest producer of footwear after China, with annual production of about 2.1 billion pairs.
Samar Lifestyle, part of Bengaluru-based Sara Group, plans to open at least 25 flagship Florsheim stores in the next five years, it is understood.
“Last year, we sold 30,000 pairs of shoes and we hope to grow six times by 2022,” said Tom Florsheim Jr, chairman of Weyco Group. “India is number one on our list in terms of opportunity,” he said.
“India already accounts for nearly 20% or about a million pairs of our global sourcing which could double in the next few years,” Florsheim added.
Weyco Group, which owns a number of footwear brands including Nunn Bush, Stacy Adams and Rafters, has been selling Florsheim in India for more than two decades through Chennai-based distributor KAR Group.
Samar Lifestyle, which is already present in the footwear segment with Ruosh and Attilio brands, targets annual sales of Rs 1,500 crore by 2022, from about Rs 200 crore now, through a slew of franchisee arrangements with global lifestyle brands.