D2C brand Zouk forays into footwear category; aims to build a strong offline presence, Retail News, ET Retail

D2C brand Zouk forays into footwear category; aims to build a strong offline presenceNew Delhi: D2C lifestyle brand Zouk has forayed into the footwear category, Pradeep Krishnakumar co-founder and COO of the company told ETRetail in an email interaction.

Founded by IIM-A husband-wife duo, Disha Singh and Pradeep Krishnakumar, Zouk sells cruelty-free and vegan products entirely made in India. Presently, the brand is known for its flagship range of handcrafted bags.

Commenting on the launch of this new category, Krishnakumar said, “When we saw the market, we realized most footwear brands have very west-inspired designs. We had observed something similar in bags and hence knew we could bring out differentiated, classic products. Thus, we decided to enter the footwear space.”

Sharing insights on the growth of opportunity in the footwear sector, he said that footwear has always been a large market in India, however, the demand was muted over the last two years due to COVID. He further added that a lot of consumer education has happened around materials, comfort, style and the comfort of buying from home, which will be contributing to the growth of branded D2C market for footwear in the next 3 years.

Zouk predominantly is an online brand selling through its own website and marketplaces including Amazon, Myntra, and Ajio. The company has recently started its offline journey and has presence in a few boutique stores across large metros, shared Krishnakumar adding that the retailer expects to build foundations for a strong offline distribution by the end of this year.

Talking about its flagship bags category, Krishnakumar said that the company has witnessed 16X growth over pre-covid levels. “Bags will continue to be our main category this year too, as we launch new products and expand our distribution and geographies,” he shared.

The company raised a pre-Series A round of funding last year. Its investors include Stellaris Venture Partners, Titan Capital and the founders of D2C brands Mamaearth, Beardo and Wow Skin Science.

Though the company is well capitalized, it is open to working with the right partners, said Krishnakumar on future fundraising plans.

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