Future Group exits Skechers joint venture in India

Future Group has exited its joint venture with US lifestyle and footwear brand Skechers, which will now run the Indian operations independently. While the company did not disclose the deal size, officials said Skechers paid nearly INR 580 crore for the 49 % stake that it doesn’t hold in the JV.

“Few markets match the potential for growth like India does, which is why we entered the market initially, and recently decided to buy the minority stake in our joint venture,” said David Weinberg, chief operating officer of Skechers. ETreported the deal first in December last year.

In India — popular rival brands Reebok, Adidas, Nike and Puma — are much bigger in size and are also positioning their merchandise beyond lifestyle and cricket into products that can be associated with most sporting activities. Last year Future Group, which also owns footwear brands such as Lee Cooper, Converse and Clarks, said it expects to clock INR 2500 crore in revenue from footwear sales this year.

Skechers, which entered India in 2012, has been doubling its business with plans to add its own manufacturing units and newer categories. Globally, the retailer sells watches, apparel, socks and sunglasses, among other merchandise. The brand has about 223 stores, including 61doors, which are company owned.

The second largest athletic footwear brand in US said an additional 80-100 stores are being planned for 2019, of which about 20 will be owned and operated by them directly.

“The effort of our team has resulted in significant growth as illustrated in our year-over-year numbers — 2018 saw double-digit increases in wholesale and retail sales and an 80% increase in pairs sold, reaching 2.7 million,” said Weinberg in a statement.