The 95-year-old firm had been importing from India for over two decades before launching as a retail brand a year ago via the formation of a subsidiary. It just began establishing retail storefronts and already has three locations in India.
According to Tim Mueller, head of the AstorMueller company, European shoemaker AstorMueller, which retails brands such as Bugatti and Bagatt in India, expects India to become its biggest market in the next five years.
“India is one of the booming markets for the next 10-15 years. It has a young population. They are open, they like fashion. So that’s why we decided to become a strong brand, not only by sourcing,” Mueller told ET.
India now contributes 75-80% of the company’s sourcing, which it intends to grow to minimize its reliance on China If necessary, the corporation is willing to enhance its investment in India.
“This depends on what is needed in the end. We are a family-owned company and we are bank independent. So whatever is needed as the investment we can do, but this depends also on the market developments, market today in Europe, at least, is a little bit shaky. We have inflation problems, we have Ukraine problems there and (it is) difficult to plan, but still we are growing in double digits,” said Mueller.
AstorMueller’s largest market is now Europe, but it anticipates India will overtake it in the next five years.
“The potential is there, the power to invest is there, so it’s a strategic decision that we took. It’s not that we jumped to every opportunity, we took time to understand the market,” Mueller said.
The firm features a global design team as well as development departments in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and India.
Between 2021-22 and 2024-25, Indian footwear sales are predicted to expand at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15-17%. According to Metro Brands’ annual study, the average retail price of footwear is predicted to rise at a CAGR of 5-7% throughout this period.
AstorMueller intends to bring additional brands to India shortly.
“We are a platform so we can take other brands onto our platform, but for the moment we will focus on these two brands (Bugatti and Bagatt),” said Mueller. “But there might come up some other things in the next 12 to 24 months. We are discussing one brand for India, ready to launch in India and we are negotiating one brand that we would launch in Europe and then bring to India.”
India is the world’s second-biggest manufacturer and consumer of footwear. It is a high-employment industry that considerably contributes to the country’s export revenues and economic development.
According to Mueller, the global recession will have little influence on India. “India will be unaffected because the power within the countries is too strong and too large,” he added.
The retailer intends to establish locations in Hyderabad, Chennai, and Mumbai.