In an interaction with S&A, Ishaan Sachdeva, Founder, Alberto Torresi, said “There is a sudden shift in the online shopping world and e-commerce has become the most trusted and safe medium these days.We are setting our foot firmer in the digital domain and the world will see technology owning the Retail space and thus our main objective is to give customers the most reliable and easy Online shopping experience.”

Post-Covid, how much has the brand’s retail strategy changed, and how bigger will be the brand’s reliance on e-commerce?
The footfall at the physical retail stores has shrunk since the virus took over the country.
Even after lockdown 2.0 where stores are allowed to open at safe zones, the footfall is barely visible. Consumers are stepping out only to buy essentials and therefore, the retail stores are hard hit.  There is a sudden shift in the online shopping world and e-commerce has become the most trusted and safe medium these days. Henceforth, we are setting our foot firmer in the digital domain. The world will see technology owning the Retail space and thus our main objective is to give customers the most reliable and easy Online shopping experience.

How the pandemic has impacted the brand’s product portfolio launch? Give us a view.
The Autumn Winter’ 2020 collection that was to take place has been laid off. Since the lockdown happened unannounced, all the plans have to be revised. Even the collection which was in process to have launched by April or May is stuck and is resuming now after Unlock 2.0, which still is slower than the usual owing to lesser workforce at the manufacturing units. We are still in the process to sell existing stock, before launching the new.

There is a growing call for brands to manufacture their products locally. How do you perceive this?
The growing call to manufacture products locally is to engage Indian brands to follow localisation vision. Emphasising on a self-reliant (aatmanirbhar) India, the government’s focal point is to be ‘Vocal for Local’. And thus, promote Products that are manufactured within the country itself. The mantra has also brought out the significance for our local brands to have a global presence. Infact, there is sudden prominence of local products by customers in India, the consumers are very aptly adapting the culture for ‘Vocal for Local’.

During this pandemic, what kind of social undertaking has the brand done?
The Virus has affected not one but every industry in the world. Since, never before a pandemic like this was witnessed, people are still trying to adapt into the ‘New normal’. Whether it’s easing the burden on frontline and other essential workers, helping struggling businesses find new revenue streams or keeping us all safe, we have displayed unprecedented altruism and ingenuity. It’s our social responsibility to spread the right message and influence our target audience. We are also supporting campaigns that promote social distancing and other safety measures.

If the brand resumed its operation, kindly share with us the SOP it has adopted to instill confidence in shoppers.
Brands face inventory pile up and fallen sales as online purchases, otherwise growing prior to the outbreak, have declined drastically. We at the forefront realign our existing marketing strategies according to the pressing demands on the customers. Credible and power Customer Relationship Channels for acquiring analytics and actionable data regarding customer lifecycle, funnels, and marketing cohorts. We are also focusing on readjusting our products offerings as due to resource limitation, the focus will be now on purchasing essentials rather than splurging on luxuries. Also, we are planning to promote philanthropic activities because covid-19 has stripped many individuals of their livelihood and no act of kindness is small enough during the testing times.

What kind of growth figure do you expect from the Indian footwear market?
Due to Covid 19 outbreak, the predictions have been made about the changes related to market size, revenue, production, CAGR, Consumption, price & other substantial factors. The footwear market in India has been drawing prominent spotlight in the fashion and style industry and is expanding significantly. The Indian footwear industry is export-oriented and the government is taking initiatives to increase the footwear export by the end of 2020. This will help us operate in the organised sector. The market is expected to grow with a steady CAGR in the forecast period of 2019-2026. This rise in market value can be attributed to the innovations and advancements regarding the comfort and functionality of the footwear without compensating for their aesthetic appeal.

What steps would you like the Indian government to take to ensure brands, like yours, concerns are addressed?
It is crucial to adapt to the present-day need while the Government is working towards restoring the supply chain.
India, however, is mulling economic measures, including limiting China’s access to its vast market. The government is also looking after the Productivity in Indian industry, Industrial Management, Matters related to e-Commerce and start-ups, Facilitating Ease of Doing Business (EODB) and Promotion of internal trade including retail trade, welfare of traders and their employees. Infact, most of the brands and companies have stopped their China production and are setting up units within the country which will contribute to the economy.

Give a sense of your understanding of the Indian footwear market now and what are your expectations?
Currently, India is the second largest footwear manufacturer in the world after China. The footwear market consists of companies engaged in manufacturing, selling and marketing of different kinds of footwear and accessories to the end users, namely men, women and kids. Footwear has evolved from being a necessity, as protection for feet, to an accessory which has become a style statement for customers. From using eco-friendly measures to providing multiple health benefits, footwear today has surpassed as a mere accessory.
The growth is expected in modern retailing & e-tailing. Accessibility, a wide range of choices, and special coupons and discounts attract customers to modern retail. With footwear evolving from a basic requirement in day-to-day life to a symbol of fashion and style, it is necessary to ensure synchronization across all the platforms via Omni-Channel strategy to reduce operational complexities and serve customer needs effortlessly.

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