Bata has 234 franchise stores at present and the "franchise network powered the overall growth and (Covid related) disruptions never blocked it," Gunjan Shah CEO said, adding, in the next 2-3 years franchise outlets will be 30% of the total number of stores.
Bata India would continue to emphasise its franchise network for accelerating expansion following its operational growth via 64 new franchise stores last fiscal, Bata India chairman Ashwini Windlass told reporters after the company’s 88th annual general meeting.
Bata has 234 franchise stores at present and the “franchise network powered the overall growth and (Covid related) disruptions never blocked it,” Gunjan Shah, CEO said, adding, in the next 2-3 years franchise outlets will be 30% of the total number of stores.
“Gunjan taking charge has fast-forwarded the new journey that Bata has begun,” Windlass said. He said, given the social distancing norms, shift to work-from-home and avoidance of social gatherings, there was an adverse impact on lifestyle products.
In FY 21, the company focused on areas like product innovation, channel innovation, customer care initiative marketing campaigns, sales through its outlets, e-commerce platforms and hyper-local digital channels like Bata Chat Shop and Bata Store-on-Wheels, which helped it maintain the growth.
Cost optimisation through investment in new technologies in various areas like ticketing solutions, contact centre partners, e-commerce related processes was another area that helped improve customer experience and satisfaction despite restrictions on going out from home in the wake of Covid-19. The change in product offering to address the changing consumer needs for casual and activewear also helped the company remain in a growth trajectory. Sales of sneakers and other casuals have gone up 1.5 times in the last year, Windlass said
The shoe manufacturer has expanded in 75 new towns via multi-brand outlets and launched Bata Chat shops across 800 stores last fiscal, where customers could chat and video with the local store managers for local delivery.
Bata store on wheels has been active in hundred cities. Through endless aisle, a customer could scan a store, select, order and get it delivered at home. Home delivery expanded to 1200 Bata stores out of its total 1500 stores in 800 towns. The company sold 3 crore pairs during the last fiscal, Shah told reporters while Windlass added that the average selling price has gone up by 20% in the last four years.
Bata has reported a turnover of Rs 267 crore during the first quarter of the current fiscal.