Orion Footwear Ltd launched its 28th outlet at level-6 of Bashundhara City Shopping Complex in the capital yesterday.
As a part of its nationwide retail coverage, the Orion Group's footwear manufacturing company would open 20 more outlets in the next one year at strategic locations across the country, said Orion Footwear Managing Director Zareen Karim at the launching ceremony.
"Starting its journey in 2015, Orion Footwear has been focusing on import substitution through locally made quality footwear," Zareen Karim said, "Adding that the company is going to start its state of the art factory at Savar, Dhaka soon."
"The factory, equipped with all Italian machinery, would look for prospects in the export markets," she added.
Orion Footwear Director Arzuda Karim, Merchandising Manager Farha Faisul, and Orion's Group Head of Admin Md Forhad Hossain, among others, were present at the event.
Farha Faisul said the fast growing Bangladesh footwear market has a dependency on export for high quality shoes and her company is planning to accelerate operation to fill the gap.
Forhad Hossain said Orion's footwear outlets have been covering all the major cities of the country and gradually it would reach all the urban locations, with multiple outlets in strategically important areas.
According to footwearexchange.com, Bangladesh was the eighth largest footwear manufacturer in 2020 and ninth largest footwear consumer, while it ranked 16th as footwear exporter, and 96th as an importer.
With the steady economic growth and improved lifestyle, the domestic footwear market grew to over $2.36 billion in 2019 from $1.58 billion in 2014, according to Statista. However, the annual market shrunk to $1.75 billion in 2020 due to the pandemic, while in 2021 it recovered to $2 billion.
Against local production of 40.7 crore pairs of footwear in 2019, Bangladesh consumed 36.6 crore pairs including 2.2 crore imported pairs that cost the country foreign currencies worth $74 million, according to the Footwear Exchange.
On the other hand, the country earned over $1 billion in the year prior to the pandemic by exporting 7.9 crore pairs of comparatively expensive shoes.
Statista forecasts that the Bangladesh footwear market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.36% over the next five years to reach $3.81 billion in 2027.