Tata International forms JV with Wolverine World Wide


April 24, 2012

Meghna Maiti , Financial Chronicle

Mumbai, April 24, 2012

Noel Tata-led Tata International on Monday said it had entered into a 50:50 joint venture with Wolverine World Wide for the wholesale distribution of Wolverine’s ‘Merrell’ and ‘Caterpillar’ footwear and apparel brands in India.

“This venture is in line with Tata International’s strategy of growth, focusing on growing presence in footwear distribution and retail in domestic and international markets,” said Noel Tata, managing director of Tata International and half brother of Ratan Tata, the chairman of Tata Sons. The joint venture will have an arrangement with Trent, where Noel Tata is the vice chairman. Trent operates more than 50 department stores in India and the Star Bazaar range of hypermarkets in addition to Zara stores in India. Devangshu Dutta, chief executive of retail consultancy firm Third Eyesight said, “Tata International has experience in footwear while Trent has expertise in retail. With that combination they should be able to manage the value chain well.”

“This new partnership demonstrates the progress we are making towards our goal of expanding the retail presence of our brands through stand-alone stores, shop-in-shops and selected wholesale distribution. This joint venture model follows the successful strategy of our owned operations in the US, Canada and much of Europe,” Blake W Krueger, chairman and CEO of Wolverine Worldwide said in a statement.

“Operating this new business model in India allows the Merrell and Caterpillar footwear brands to get close to their target consumer, while providing keen insights into brand development opportunities,” the company said in a press statement.

Wolverine World Wide is one of the world’s leading marketers of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport and uniform footwear and apparel. The company’s portfolio of brands includes Bates, Chaco, Cushe, Hush Puppies among others.