The founders of startup company Footsy have chosen to sell the article of clothing that most people pay the least attention to: socks. And I say that with a lot of love. eCom sites are dime a dozen now, with no real differentiation let alone innovation. They have been offering the same stuff with slightly revised rates and of course with the option of cash on delivery. Footsy chose to be different by selling just socks. Not just socks, mind you, but all kinds of socks.
Henry Ford famously said I don’t care what color car you want, as long as it’s black. Going by the same quote, many folks don’t care what color their socks are as long as they are white.
White socks sell like hot cakes in India. I’m not sure if it is the difficulty in picking up the right socks or the importance one places on socks in the wardrobe. Or it could be the confusion around what should socks really be matched with? Is it the shoe, the pant, the shirt or the tie?
For dress pants (formals) the socks should match the color of the pants. If you go dress shopping and buy your pants that’s the best time to buy your socks, too. That’s as simple as it can get. For jeans and other kinds of pants you can get creative.
There is a trend now in silicon valley where socks are defining the tech entrepreneurs. Technology folks have been experimenting with all kinds of socks of late. Suddenly the socks are right at the top of the wardrobe. GigaOM founder Om Malik, Twitter found Dick Costolo and Facebook investor Jim Breyer have all been caught wearing audaciously patterned socks. They all seem to be wearing a Swedish brand called Happy Socks.
India’s tech types whenever they hear something cool happening in the valley usually have to stop at gaping the Instagram pictures. Looks like Footsy is set to change all that for India. Footsy is an idea born in the by lanes of Bangalore as per its founders Seema Seth and Pooja Mehta.
Footsy’s men’s collection is rather limited with just two varieties of socks. Happy Days and the olive undercover aren’t something you will find even if you are shopping for them. The Women’s and Kids sections is swelling though. Besides socks, Footsy is also selling leg-warmers, snugglers and accessories.
I really wish Footsy would stock with more varieties like what we see on the Happy Socks collection. For example there is no collection for dress socks — the kind you wear for your dress pants. If Footsy stocks up plain socks in all kinds of colors, that would help people to shop for socks online to start with. Maybe customers will venture into the flamboyant varieties later.
I’m sure the conglomerization bug will hit Footsy some time. Until then Footsy will be the first place I will check for my socks.
PS: Now that socks are being sold online, I am expecting exclusive condom store and lingerie stores to come up and make big. Any bets?
February 28, 2012
April 2, 2012