Clarks profits from India's GST introduction, seeks new innovations

​While many fashion retailers are bemoaning the new Goods and Services Tax (GST), English import Clarks remains positive on its effects and is planning to continue to grow its presence in India.

Clarks is expanding into more cities across India and is hopeful about the GST's impact for them - Clarks- Facebook

Sanjay Pandey, the Business Head of Clarks India, recently made a statement that the brand is looking to grow its franchise outlet total and said: “Our franchise store count is 32 and we look forward to expanding our franchise partnerships with partners who share the same goal and passion as ours.”

The brand also has a large number of flagship stores, mostly in Tier 1 cities but wants to expand.

“Our next level of business expansion would mean strengthening our retail footprint in Tier III cities and creating an equally strong line of stores in Tier II locations.”

This move to grow in smaller towns is in line with the current trend in Indian retail where brands are tapping into the increased brand consciousness and consumer demand in more rural areas.

Clarks is also online and, as shoes are something that many consumers prefer to see in person before buying, the brand is trying to create closer links between then offline and online presence.

Pandey said: “Our brand website is a representation of our retail shop assortment and has helped establish the brand goal. We are also running a trial of tablet selling in key stores which helps in building the bridge between online and offline channels.”

The use of technology is also increasing as, according to Pandey, “i-Pad measurement devices are now used in stores to ensure kids get the best fit.”

“With the introduction of GST, our plans of growing our footprint will have a positive impact on our business.”

In this way, Clarks’ status as a foreign brand means that GST struggles may not affect them negatively and they hope it will indeed have a positive outcome for them.

Clarks was founded in Somerset, England, in 1985 where it is still based today. The footwear brand is present in over 100 markets across franchise, online, and wholesale channels. The brand currently has 60 retail outlets across India and is present in over 35 cities.  

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