The footwear industry was doing wonders in terms of business. The sector has seen a boom in terms of demand from its consumers and it was touching its peak before the pandemic arrived. People were finally understanding the importance of products from other countries apart from the chinese products. But with the arrival of the virus in India which led to the situation of lockdown not only the country’s economy got affected but all the business and all the industry has come to a standstill. The coronavirus has sent markets tumbling, as its ramifications to a swath of businesses and industries become more apparent. The cascading effect of the coronavirus is crippling all the industries including the footwear industry too. Earlier the industry which was touching its peak because of the new seasons arrival, new designs and new marketing and business strategies is now facing acute problems.The pandemic has come up with fresh challenges for the country’s economy, causing a severely disruptive impact on both demand and supply-side elements that has the capacity to derail the growth story. Shortage of raw materials from other countries, problems in the production has all led to a massive difficulty faced by all the industries.

Impact of the pandemic on the Footwear Industry

The virus is taking a massive toll in the economic front, shutting down businesses, curbing international travel and impacting production lines of major global businesses. Shutting down of stores, effect on online delivering has shown a massive impact on the industry. Most of the brands aren’t able to launch their new collection keeping in mind the lockdown. Keeping in mind the importance of social distancing, workers are asked not to come. Import of raw materials from other countries has come to standstill which has resulted in the decrease of many raw materials and thus, leading to a stoppage of production. All in all the footwear industry has been hit hard due to the pandemic and thus, market expansion is something which is not in focus at this very point of time.

Consumer Behaviour

The pandemic has hit hard in the economy on a global front and thus the pocket of each consumer has taken a major dip. It is very much understood that once things will start getting to normal, the people will cut down the purchase of luxury things. They are going to put their focus only on buying necessities. Another major change witnessed will be that most of the people will prefer online shopping. As the community moves beyond the survival mode, the digital-adoption momentum is likely to carry forward and become permanent. This inflection point will be primarily shaped by three major shifts in customer behaviour – the reluctance to mingle in crowded public places, higher propensity for digital adoption and also focus on buying necessities.

Post-lockdown strategies

Depending on the sector, the firms said that demand could take anywhere from a quarter or more to revive. Many more firms would need to reconsider their product strategy. Depending on the sector, demand could take anywhere between a quarter or more to revive. Indian footwear firms have to focus on strategies to tackle possible post-lockdown scenarios. The challenge is to prepare and come out as a winner. Automation is definitely on the cards but also that is a long term goal. The industry should focus on making affordable footwear. A range that offers style, newness and at the same time is affordable. As footwear is a part of necessity, people will spend on it, what we need to do is offer them a line which looks luxury but is affordable at the same time. We at Von Wellx Germany, have always focused on providing the best quality footwear which not only focus in style but also provides health too. Made with 5 bed zone reflex technology, which ensures to give a soft massage to the feet all day, relieves heel, knee and back pain and also increases the well-being. The leather used in the lace up is breathable which prevents any fungus growth and also disallows swelling. Each shoe in the collection gives a gentle massage pressure to the reflex zones of soles of feet which increases the blood circulation and thus balanced metabolism is achieved. The shoes also help to get correct foot position and body posture by releasing the muscle tension. We won’t be compromising on the quality and health factor of our product. We are focusing to come out with an ample of designs so that our consumers have enough options to choose from.

Market Recovery

The world is facing the worst hit in terms of economy. Till date industries have never faced this kind of turbulence. The business is happening at a slower pace and everyone is hoping to get out of it soon. The challenge is not only for the footwear industry but for other industries and for the world economy too. The recovery will definitely take time. Getting back to what was normal will take at least 8-10 months as the import of raw materials from other countries will not start immediately once the lockdown is removed. Similarly, availability of workers will again not be possible on a larger scale because of the social distancing factor thus, all these reasons will impact on the production. Getting everything back to normal will surely take time, but with continuous positive approach, we all will come out as victorious.

* Ashish Jain, Director and CEO, Von Wellx Germany

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