An 80-year-old is going in for a facelift. Bata India, the name trusted by millions of consumers down the decades, is going to get glitzy so as to appeal to the young crowd. Gone are the staid styles and eternal unchanging colors. The shoe brand will introduce almost four designs every day, open 70 to 100 stores of at least 5,000 sq. ft. every year, and push its online sales. Faced by a run of losses, the company shut down all unviable stores. All outlets have been given extended working hours. Almost 400 small stores, which looked more like dinghy warehouses with hundreds of pairs of footwear crammed in overburdened shelves, were closed down and 270 large-format stores at prime locations were opened. The board is considering a proposal to start franchisee operations this year in smaller cities where setting up company-owned outlets may not be viable.
The strategy is to completely exit the low-end of the market and focus on the middle segment. Meanwhile, its online sales are growing at 200 per cent and the website has had some four lakh visitors since its launch a year back. Bata is selling in 315 towns across India, including tougher and difficult to operate markets like Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The brand would open 20 to 30 single-brand stores every year through a mix of standalone and shop-in-shops in retail chains like Lifestyle and Central. It also plans brand-licensing deals with global shoemakers to widen its portfolio. It would make each of its five plants in the country a specialist for a particular type of footwear. It also plans to source from China and domestic third-party manufacturers to drive cost efficiencies. The shoemaker’s main brands are North Star, Marie Claire, Bubblegummers, Hush Puppies, Weinbrenner, Ambassador, Mocassino, Power and Comfit. And consumers will be treated to newer, improved versions of these. In other words, Bata will have a new, improved avtaar.
Tags: Bata, bata franchise, bata store, bata business, footwear franchise, shoe franchise, hush puppies franchise, marie claire franchise,
Source: Fashion United,Thursday, 02 June 2011
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