Metro Brands Ltd, which sells Crocs clogs in India, is hiring between 1,500 and 2,000 workers in the country to staff the new footwear stores it plans to open by the end of 2025, its chief executive told Reuters.
The company, which had 720 stores as of end-2022 and nearly 4,000 employees overall, said last March it would add 260 new stores that sells brands such as Mochi, Walkaway and Metro, to expand in cities where it is already present and enter smaller towns.
“To support the extra stores, we would definitely need more back office staff (in addition to store workers),” CEO Nissan Joseph said in an interview on Wednesday.
Joseph said the rising affluence in the country and a shift in consumer spend from mom-and-pop stores to bigger chains have set Metro up for sales gains. The company reported a near 68% jump in revenue for the nine months ended Dec. 31.
“We see middle-class incomes growing in India … And when incomes rise, what people want is better products, better brands,” said Joseph.
Besides Metro, several other apparel and footwear players – including Arvind Fashions which sells Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein in India – have doubled down on smaller cities to tap growing household incomes and penchant for global brands.
Metro, which operates nearly 200 exclusive stores selling only footwear made by Crocs Inc, will also benefit from the U.S. company’s plans to sharpen its focus on sandals, which is commonly worn by Indians, said Joseph.
“There’s still a considerable runway for Crocs to continue to grow,” he said.
Earlier this month, Crocs reported record revenue for 2022, with its Asia-Pacific business outgrowing North America.
Metro’s shares, which climbed 93% last year, have declined nearly 4% so far in 2023.