German footwear brand BIRKENSTOCK–with origins dating back to the late 18th century — has entered the Indian market, starting with sale of its popular sandals online before opening a store in the Delhi-NCR region early next year.

Sale of the sandals, that are popular among shoppers globally, is live on the brand’s India website where it is also offering shoes and heels priced between Rs 2,009 and Rs 17,999. The collection on its website offers footwear for men, women and children. The traditional German brand will go live on other e-commerce marketplaces shortly. Currently, the brand is not sold in the local market via trade partners, the company said in its statement, adding that this is the first time the brand has made an official entry into India. The brand will also open a store at Delhi’s T-3 airport terminal next year.

“We expect India to become one of the five most important markets for BIRKENSTOCK within the next few years, since we offer the perfect products for the current spirit of the times and lifestyle in this country,” Oliver Reichert, CEO of the BIRKENSTOCK Group, said in a statement. He added that a booming, brand-compatible retail environment combined with a strong consumer demand for genuine quality, makes India an attractive market for the company.

BIRKENSTOCK, that is sold in 100 countries, has set up an India entity which will serve as a wholesaler and distributor of the brand to different retail store partners in India, said Vinay Bansal, managing director, BIRKENSTOCK India.

BIRKENSTOCK shoes will continue to be imported from the company’s manufacturing facilities in Germany. “By expanding sales activities over the medium term, including in the form of partner-operated retail concepts and shop-in-shop concepts for retail partners in the premium segment, the company is underscoring its growth ambitions in the region,” the company said in a statement announcing its India launch.

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