US retailer of shoes and sportswear Foot Locker Inc. is in discussions to join the Indian market with Metro Brands Ltd., according to a report by The Economic Times.
Foot Locker, which sells well-known footwear brands like Adidas and Nike Inc., is in talks to appoint a franchise with four Indian players. The specifics of the companies were kept confidential.
Foot Locker or Metro Brands haven't responded or commented on the matter.
CEO, Nissan Joseph
According to Nissan Joseph, chief executive of Metro Brands, the country's expanding wealth and a change in consumer purchasing from mom-and-pop shops to larger chains have prepared Metro for sales growth, Reuters reported.
“The partnership could be either a franchisee agreement or a joint venture,” one of the officials said.
India, which has a population of 1.39 billion, is one of the world's largest and fastest-growing markets for sportswear and footwear companies.
“There is this gap in the footwear segment, which needs to be filled,” said Shriram PM Monga, cofounder of retail consultancy firm SRED.
“Multi-brand outlets don’t give much prominence to sports footwear brands though there is a big market to capture,” he said.
Foot Locker has over 2,800 retail stores in 28 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
Retailers Metro Brands sell shoes under their own Metro, Mochi, Walkway, Da Vinchi, and J Fontini brands as well as a few other names like Crocs, Fitflop, Skechers, Clarks, Puma, and Adidas. It ran 720 outlets in 164 cities across 30 states and union territories as of December 31, 2022.
Recently, Metro Brands purchased a 100% ownership in Cravatex Brands, a retail and brand licensing company that operates throughout the nation and owns the sportswear brand Proline as well as an exclusive long-term licence for the Italian sportswear company FILA and a few other foreign brands.
The rights to promote the sale of these trademarks across channels, including exclusive stores, multi-brand outlets, and ecommerce currently belong to Metro Brands.