The brand is successfully creating an exquisite range of bespoke, colorful, and personalized range of footwear using advanced technology and signature craftsmanship
Chappers,an exclusive bespoke footwear company,has witnessed fantastic growth in its endeavor to empower local craftsmen and revive the historic Indian footwear-making art for contemporary buyers. The brand is eyeing humungous growth in the times ahead and has undergone new branding and stylistic changes in a bid to help people “put their best foot forward.”
Chappers started with the famous Kolhapuri Chappals which have protected the feet of millions of Indians for centuries. Sturdy and high-quality, they have been the favorite of royals as well as the commons in the past. However, the lack of design diversity and limitation of color options meant there is little for men to choose from when it comes to footwear.
To address this challenge, the founder Harshwardhan Patwardhan, who is himself a die-hard fan of the Kolhapuri footwear, decided to give the chappals a makeover combining the handcrafted quality with cutting-edge technology and customer sensibilities. A combination of two words, ‘Chappal + slippers’, Chappers has rapidly emerged as a brand that provides high-quality custom-crafted footwear for men, at the right price. Starting with Kolhapuris today Chappers have ventured into loafers, sandals, and mojris in various colors, designs, and styles for men.
Speaking about this, Harshwardhan Patwardhan, Founder, Chappers, said, “Chappers is a brand revolutionizing the way footwear retail sector runs. We have adopted a process that is extremely beneficial for retailers and unmatched for the consumers. Unlike a typical store model where thousands of pairs of shoes are stocked, with only a handful of those selling well, and the rest eventually getting disposed of in clearance sales, we display only 25-30 selected bestsellers that are bound to catch the audience’s fancy. We empower buyers by offering them technology-driven customization of footwear. The buyer canexperience high-quality, personalized, and stylish footwearvia touchscreens in the stores. In a short period, we have managed to grow rapidly and make an indelible footprint on the Indian and international bespoke shoe market. Also, we endeavor to come up with a new collection every month, so our customers always feel happy and ecstatic each time they walk out of the store.”
Unlike a typical footwear brand, Chappers offers a novel virtual customization software-based experience that enables buyers to create their unique footwear design in a few simple steps. In the process, the customers visiting the outlets get to experience the touch and feel of the product and select design/color options as well as accessorizethem.
Once the design is finalized, the customer can visualize the product’s look on his feet, by using an iPad. If the customer is willing, he can place the order, and get the shoes delivered to his home within 48 hours. Alternatively, the customer can enter his mobile number, and the personalized design is shared with him on WhatsApp for future reference.
Chappers has already sold to about 25,000 customers across 27 countries, and the growing list of patrons includes celebrities such as Cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, M S Dhoni, film star Jackie Shroff, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, young Sena leader and Maharashtra minister, Aditya Thackeray, and many others. Their customer retention rate is more than 40% in this highly competitive Indian footwear market. Currently, they are selling their products through their website, as well as physical stores in Pune.
Chappers is now set to embark on a kiosk franchising model and is also foraying into the women’s footwear segment to expand its market coverage across India. The vision is to establish thousands of such kiosks in shopping malls all over India and enable tens of thousands of people to experience the comfort of bespoke footwear at the right price every day. Eventually, the brand aims to lead the evolution of this custom footwear market wherein the conventional as well as other emerging footwear brands all over the world, will follow suit.