India is the 2nd largest consumer and producer of footwear in the world. The country produces quality footwear while keeping its production cost low. With raw materials and skilled labor readily available in the country, footwear produced here is quite in demand all over the world. These reasons are enough to attract footwear companies and entrepreneurs to start a profitable footwear business.
According to statistics, the footwear industry in India will generate about USD 9,352 million in revenue and is expected to grow at the rate of 13.53% annually. In fact, experts predict that it may reach about USD 15.5 billion by the end of 2022. Due to this exponential increase in demand, the footwear industry can prove to be quite a lucrative business opportunity.
While there are many types of footwear, naive entrepreneurs looking for a start may want to focus on the kind of footwear that is in great demand currently. Given the country's obsession with sports, sports shoes have always remained in great demand, not just in India, but in most of the southeast Asian countries as well.
When it comes to sports shoes, there is only one brand that comes to mind: Nike. Nike has always been synonymous with sports shoes around the world.
Nike sport shoes are always in demand. Anyone wanting to start a footwear business can tap into this market to make profits.
Let us learn more about the brand Nike and its operations.
Nike is a multinational brand with its headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, USA. It designs and sells footwear, apparel, accessories, and sports equipment. It is the world's largest supplier of sports shoes in the world.
The company was founded by athlete Phil Knight and his coach, Bill Bowerman, on January 25th, 1964. Initially, the company designed and manufactured high-end sports shoes for athletes. These shoes slowly became quite popular with the public as well, who saw the shoes as a status symbol of sorts. Since then, Nike shoes have become the most desired pair of shoes for anyone who is a sports person or loves sports.
Nike is a multinational company that is based out of the USA. Like most multinational companies, Nike does not manufacture its products on its own. Instead, it outsources its manufacturing process to vendors located in different countries. These Nike vendors work together with the brand to produce their branded shoes. They are given strict guidelines and protocols to be followed. The finished goods undergo hundreds of quality checks before they are given the brand's name and shipped to their warehouses.
There are about 600 factories located in 46 different countries that exclusively manufacture Nike shoes. Out of these Nike vendors, about 36% are located in China and Vietnam each. Another 22% are located in Indonesia.
Here are the top 10 Nike wholesale vendors that manufacture Nike shoes-
Specializes in: Footwear, jackets, sports pants, sweaters
Specializes in: Sports and outerwear shoes
Locations- Various factories across south-east Asia
Specializes in: Socks and activewear
Specializes in: Basketball shoes and accessories
Specializes in: Sports shoes and sneakers
Specializes in: Athletic and casual footwear
Specializes in: Winter jackets, shorts, golf shirts, etc.
Specializes in: Sports shoes and apparel
Specializes in: Sports shoes and sneakers
Specializes in: Sports shoes and sneakers
Nike outsources its manufacturing process to different Nike wholesale vendors worldwide. Therefore, it is important to keep a centralized production process to maintain the quality of the shoes.
Nike follows an integrated two-step process for its shoe manufacturing. All the Nike vendors are given various inputs at all stages of production. This results in the end product being the same, no matter in which country or factory it is produced.
The first step involves sourcing all the raw materials required for the production of the shoes. These raw materials are sourced from different parts of the world and shipped to factories worldwide. The Nike vendors have to work with these raw materials only to manufacture Nike goods. This ensures that the standard quality of Nike shoes is maintained worldwide.
Raw materials required for manufacturing Nike shoes are Organic cotton, leather, rubber, recycled polyester, and PVC. Other materials used to make these shoes are PVA foam, mesh fabric, and lightweight plastic. All these materials are either sources from around the factories or different parts of the world and shipped to the Nike wholesale vendors for the production process.
The second step involves the actual manufacturing process of the shoes. They are produced using the cold cement assembly process, which is currently more labor-intensive.
Machines are used to cut foam sheets into desired shoes for the soles, like cookie cutters. These soles are separated into different sizes. This method is known as a stock-fitting cookie clicker.
Other pieces of fabric are cut into different shapes to form the main body of the shoe. Materials like mesh fabrics, leather, and PVC are used in this step. The final look of the shoe depends entirely on the work done in this step.
The part of the shoe built-in step 2 comes together with the sole prepared in step 1. Both these parts are joined using water-based glue. Machines apply mechanical force to join these two parts together firmly, to provide structural strength and durability to the product.
The upper sole of the shoe is the final part that is joined with the body of the shoe prepared in step 3. This part is heated in a plastic mold to give it shape before it joins the rest of its body. At the end of this stage, the product looks a lot like a shoe but is not complete yet.
The product is given final stitching all around to give it strength and keep all the pieces together. At this stage, the shoe is tested for wear and tear.
After the initial quality check, final embellishments on the shoe are attached, like the logo, shoelace holes, other embellishments, etc.
After a final quality check, the shoes are packed and ready to be shipped.
The footwear industry is only going to see an upward trend in the coming years. The near end of the pandemic will drive people out of their homes, thereby increasing the need for quality footwear. Fashion houses can successfully integrate footwear into their apparel business to increase sales and profits margins.
Footwear includes lots of different categories such as ladies' wear, kids' wear, men's wear, casual wear, party wear, sportswear. Trying to find a niche will help businesses develop a strategy to procure the products, as well as design a sales strategy for the same. Instead of being all-inclusive, it may be wise for a business to choose a particular niche and develop a brand around the same for more chances of success.
Market research and analysis are very important before starting any business. This will help fashion brands understand the current audience preferences. Introducing currently trending products will provide a better foundation for a successful business.
Finding reliable suppliers is significant for any business. Doing online research or connecting with industry experts can help fashion brands find wholesale manufacturers and suppliers that provide quality products at low costs.
A successful marketing copy is one that deploys both online and offline methods of advertising. Marketing strategies that reach the target audience will bring in sales quickly. Fashion brands can leverage the use of social media to advertise their brand. Tie-ups with social media influencers are a great and quick way to get the brand noticed by a larger audience.
A great way to ensure the success of the brand is to be size-inclusive. Not all footwear brands in the market include sizes for people who have larger/smaller feet than an average person. Brands can also provide customized designs to consumers. Providing such unique services will ensure customer loyalty and improve sales.
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