Tata International today announced the formation of a joint venture with Wolverine Worldwide (Wolverine) for the wholesale distribution of Wolverine’s Merrell and Caterpillar Footwear brands and apparels in India. Tata International and Wolverine will each hold a 50 percent stake in this new joint venture.
Tata International brings significant retail and marketing expertise into the joint venture, together with its thirty years of experience in manufacturing footwear, specifically for major brands globally as well as the Indian market. As an additional element, the joint venture will have an arrangement with Trent, which operates more than 50 department stores in India.
The joint venture structure provides both parties with an exceptionally strong partnership. 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. It will also serve as a gateway and powerful brand platform for further growth of a broader portfolio of brands.
Commenting on the new joint venture, Noel Tata, managing director, Tata International, said, “We look forward to a successful partnership with Wolverine in addressing the lifestyle footwear market in India which offers a meaningful opportunity. This is consistent with Tata International’s focus on growing its presence in footwear distribution and retail in domestic and international markets.”
Blake Krueger, chairman and CEO, Wolverine, stated, “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. We believe that we have found, in Tata International, a truly remarkable partner who is equally dedicated to the success, growth and prosperity of our shared company, as well as the continued global expansion of Wolverine's lifestyle brands.”