In October 2005 when Clarks first entered India, they had grand plans. As per this press release, they planned opening about 300 stores by 2006. It does not take an in-depth study to know that this did not happen.
In the light of this failure to expand, it is heartening to note that Clarks has entered into a joint venture with Future Group, India.
Future Group is an extremely successful retail group controlling impressive retail chains like Pantaloons and Big Bazaar, shopping malls like City Center, clothing brands like John Miller, and even consumer finance and insurance under Future Money.
The JV plan seems to be to roll out the brand in 2011. So there is still a wait before the shoes are available more easily in the country. They plan to make it a premier international footwear label. From the press release it seems like the design range will increase, and more ladies sandals will be available. Also, the manufacturing might be outsourced to some local names.
“There are some excellent manufacturers in India making this product and we are excited about working with them”
-Andrew Martland, Head International BD, Clarks
However, I just hope that the original designs remain along with new ones, and the strict quality specifications and customer care practice of the footwear company dont change much when launched by the Indian-UK JV.