Danish footwear brand ECCO forayed into the Indian market with the launch of its first store in Delhi-NCR at Ambience Mall. Prices for women shoe range from Rs 8,999 to Rs 16,999 and those for men start from Rs 10,999 up to Rs 27,999.
The firm has plans to open 20 concept stores in prime locations across key metros in India over the next three years.
On the launch, the company's executive vice president - global sale, Michel Krol said, "We will launch our brand in the premium category. We feel that some of other premium brands that came to India went on a medium level in terms of target positioning. But, we are targeting the premium segment of the population."
India is a price sensitive market and their decision seems to be counter-intuitive amid economic slowdown. To that Krol said, "We would like to take a long-term strategy to become a successful brand in India. That is why we will start with a small footprint to focus first on brand building so that the Indian consumer understands the brand's narrative as to why the premium price we charge is justified."
On its differentiation, Liam Maher, Global Creative Director, ECCO, said that consumers today want versatility out of their products that they can use for different use cases.
"Our specialisation is in combining fine craftsmanship with cutting edge technology to produce footwear, which has wide versatility to serve a range of wearing moments. The reason for that is simple. Even our formal wear is embedded with features such as anatomical comfort, softness, cushioning, rebound that are associated with the sneakers," he says.
He explains that they use a 'Direct Injection method' where the outsoles are injected into the leather shoe mould ensuring a stronger bond between the sole and the upper that makes the shoe softer and flexible.
The Denmark-based firm owns the entire supply chain and all shoes are developed in its four tanneries (The Netherlands, Indonesia, Thailand and China). ECCO executives claim that their shoes are temperature blind and are comfortable in desert and snow.
ECCO was founded in 1963 by Birte and Karl Toosbuy. The Denmark-based brand now is available in 99 countries with 2,250 ECCO shops and more than 14,000 sales points. The family-owned firm now employs 21,300 people with six factories around the globe.
ECCO garnered attention first in 1978 when it launched a shoe where the logo was moulded into the sole. They plan to launch their e-commerce website in India by the first quarter of the next year.