Bata eyes large-format, multi-product stores

Written by Sajan C Kumar | Chennai | Updated: May 27 2013, 07:41am hrs
In a bid to take on other international brands mushrooming in India and consolidate its position, iconic multinational footwear brand Bata is betting big on its globally tested large-format stores. The new format Bata stores, typically 3,000 sq ft and above, have been designed to offer a complete range of footwear and accessories like handbags and belts, in a brand new stylish ambience.

Bata chairman and CEO Thomas George Bata speaking to journalists said the firm has gone beyond footwear to handbags and fashion accessories, and will soon include more product lines for men and women.

Bata is a destination for primary customers looking for great choice of products and brands. Most part of brands are company-owned specialised brands. That's why you see bigger Bata stores, he said.

The new Bata stores are being made as per Batas global format, designed by experienced designers and architects, using the latest retail techniques and the best quality of furniture to enhance the stores layout. Batas new designs are especially aimed at increasing its market share of the growing ladies and youth segment.

Stating that India's huge population offers a lot of opportunity for the company, Bata said, the company has been witnessing 20% top line growth year-on-year.

I would say China and India are the largest markets for Bata. Indonesia is also starting to show some tremendous amount of growth for the company. Europe is a major market for us. But, some of your neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh are developing very well for Bata, he said. Bata added that because of its huge population, India offers a lot of opportunity for the company. Bata's Indian operations rose by around 20% and the country contributes around 15% of Bata's global revenues.

Bata is also planning to have specialised footwear stores for its licensed brands like Hushpuppies across India. Currently, the company has 30 stores and is planning to add 5-10 stores every year.

Bata India MD Rajeev Gopalakrishnan said, It is our licensing brand. Definitely the specialised store concept is growing better. There is a possibility that we may focus more on independent stores.

Bata, which has around 1,250 stores across India, is planning to open around 100 stores every year. It will invest R60 lakh to R1 crore per store, said Gopalakrishnan.