Bata plans big strides in women’s footwear

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on June 04, 2013


Bata India is planning to set up exclusive stores for women’s footwear over the next two years.

According to Rajeev Gopalakrishnan, Group Managing Director, Bata India, the stores will be of smaller size of 600-800 sq ft compared to the flagship stores of 3,000 sq ft.

“We would look to have standalone ladies footwear concept stores in the next 18-24 months,’’ Gopalakrishnan told reporters on the sidelines of the company’s 80th AGM.

He, however, did not specify the amount of investment in the new project.

Bata’s women’s footwear brands, including ‘Marie Claire’, ‘Sundrops’ and ‘Naturalisers’, contribute around 25 per cent to the company’s top-line. Men’s shoes and sportswear segments contribute 40 per cent and 15 per cent, respectivley.

Another 13 per cent is from the children’s segment, while the balance seven per cent is from accessories.

According to a report by Motilal Oswal, Bata has already increased the display area for women and children’s footwear segments across stores and launched new designs.

Bata will invest around Rs 100 crore towards the modernisation of its three manufacturing units – one each in Batanagar (West Bengal), Bataganj (Patna) and Peenya Industrial Area (Bangalore) – and retail expansion.

Around 100 standalone outlets will be opened during the year. In 2012, Bata had opened 152 standalone outlets. It has 1,250 outlets nationally.

This apart, the company is eyeing an entry into rural markets with lower priced but “sturdy” products under the ‘Bata’ brand, Gopalakrishnan said.

It already has a mid-range sub-brand called ‘Footin’ targeting young adults. Footin stores are set up over 1,000 sq ft and sell products at price points of Rs 399 and Rs 599.

Around 85 per cent of sales are through retail channels, while the remaining 15 per cent are industrial sales.

Industrial Segment

According to Gopalakrishnan, the focus will also be on the non-retail segment, which includes the industrial, wholesale, e-commerce and safety categories. The company will try to improve its own wholesale channels and seek to penetrate 140 towns over the next year. “We have a lot of assistance from the parent company (Bata Shoe Organisation), in this regard (industrial and defence segment sales),” he added.

According to the Motilal Oswal report, Bata recently got “a large order” from the Indian Air Force.

Published on June 04, 2013

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