Companies

Bata to expand online presence

Jayanta Mallick Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on January 03, 2012

Bata shop







Footwear major, Bata India, is planning to expand its presence in the online sphere through its virtual retail channel. The company, which now sells nearly 1,000 pairs a week, through its ten-month old online format, is targeting to triple sales (to 3,000 pairs per week) within a year or so.

According to Mr Rajeev Gopalakrishnan, Group Managing Director, Bata India Ltd, at present, “nearly 50 per cent of the company's orders come from the web” and Bata is looking forward to “exponential” growth in this format.

“We have nearly 1,200 retail stores across different locations in the country. It makes more sense for a customer to order online for (shoe) sizes that are not available in the stores,” he told Business Line.

Bata India, currently, is one of the few companies amongst consumer goods majors to have its own online format. The company also sells its licensed products that include brands such as Hush Puppies, Oxford Street, Reebok, Scholls and Marie Claire — for kids, men and women — through the online store.

Tie Ups

In India, e-commerce sites like myntra.com, yebhi.com and bestylish.com have been in the forefront specialising in multi-brand retailing of footwear (for both men and women). The sites have done exceptionally well and if market sources are to be believed, they have grown at over 100 per cent in 2011.

According to Mr Gopalkrishnan, the footwear major will explore tie-up opportunities with e-commerce sites in the future.

The company, he said, was also looking at opportunities to the come up with new brands.

A decision on tie-ups — with e-commerce sites and new brands — is likely to be taken once policy prescription on multi-brand retailing and other legal hurdles are cleared.

“We are planning to tie up with a lot e-commerce sites after the multi-brand rules and everything comes into play. We also might do or set another brand,” he added.

Bata has already entered into tie-ups with two e-commerce sites — e-bay.com and rediff.com — for sale of shoes. In 2010 calendar year, Bata clocked a gross turnover of Rs 1,277.08 crore. The board will take the final numbers of 2011 later this month for consideration.

New Team

Meanwhile, buoyed by the success of its online store, Bata management was planning to put in place a new team to look into issues of logistics and infrastructure — a primary part of which includes warehousing — for its online venture.

“We might use a part of our existing warehouses for our online store,” he said ruling out plans of new investments in warehouses.

Bata already has five warehouses located across different parts of the country.

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Published on January 03, 2012
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