Woodland looking at over 20% topline growth this fiscal, Retail News, ET Retail

Woodland looking at over 20% topline growth this fiscalMumbai: Homegrown footwear and apparel brand Woodland is expecting to grow over 20 per cent and claw back to the pre-pandemic levels with a top line of over Rs 1,200 crore this fiscal, mainly driven by ‘revenge-buying’. The New Delhi-based company — which began manufacturing special purpose leather boots for extreme weather conditions (targeted primarily the defence sector) in Canada in the late 1980s — entered the country 25 years ago and is the market leader in the category, selling over 5 million pairs annually.

Owned by Aero Club, the privately-held Woodland closed FY22 with Rs 1,000 crore revenue and has set a target of crossing Rs 1,200 crore this year or clawing back to the pre-pandemic sales this fiscal as there is a lot of revenge-buying happening since the pandemic scare has ebbed, Harkirat Singh, its promoter and managing director, told PTI here on Friday.

The company is fully owned by the Singh family and does not have long term debt or external investors.

The company sells its footwear mostly in premium athleisure range for outdoors, accessories — including apparel and deos and men’s personal wears through Woodland, and super-premium Wood labels through 500 company-owned-and-company operated exclusive stores and over 5,000 multibrand retailers.

Almost 50 per cent of the sales come from these exclusive stores, 20-25 per cent from exports primarily to the UAE and other MENA markets, South Africa, Russia and Canada’ and the rest from other retailers, Singh said.

Before the pandemic, the company had 600 exclusive stores and will be adding 20-25 this year, he said, adding since the pandemic around 35 per cent of sales come online, which was under 10 per cent before the pandemic.

Singh said almost two-thirds of the top line come from footwear, 25 per cent from apparel and the rest from accessories.

The company outsources/imports its high-end shoes (tagged at over Rs 20,000 a pair and sold under the Wood brand (fetching around a quarter of its revenue), from China, Vietnam and Bangladesh, which also supply to global brands like Timberland and Caterpillar, and the 70 per cent of the Woodland brands are manufactured in-house.

Singh ruled out taking the company public, saying remaining private gives him better control over operations.

He is also expecting to bag orders from the defence ministry to make special-purpose boots for the soldiers. It has already submitted samples, he said, adding these boots will be made in technical collaboration with the American company Polartech.

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