Bata India plans to invest Rs 1 billion in expanding, upgrading stores

In an effort to reposition itself as a contemporary brand, Bata India is planning an aggressive expansion programme.

The company will open about 100 own and 50 franchise stores this year, Uday Khanna, chairman of Bata India, told shareholders at the 85th annual general meeting.

The company will invest close to Rs 1 billion towards refurbishing stores and upgrading facilities this year.

The company will also open new concept stores called ‘Red Angela’, which will have more open space and dedicated space for product categories.

Also, apart from focusing on premium products, which has been a strategy Bata India has been following for the past few years, it will now renew its focus on volumes.

“One of the biggest challenges at present for us is contemporising. To address this, we will now have new shoe designs, new layout of the stores. Advertising and communication also play a major role,” said Khanna.

“We will have new concept stores in terms of design and focus. It will have more open space and will also showcase our own brand colour red and white, along with providing for more space for accessories. More than ten already opened. As we open new stores, this will be the new concept,” added Khanna.

In 2017-18, Bata India added over 100 new retail stores, 31 franchise stores and renovated more than 90 stores across India.

“There is a huge potential to increase the number of stores. There is an opportunity to have 500 franchise stores; we have just opened our 101st one,” said Sandeep Kataria, chief executive officer of Bata India.

Apart from physical stores, Bata India will also focus on the e-commerce space. At present, e-commerce contributes about 4-4-5 per cent of the total sales of Bata India.

“E-commerce has potential to have double digital contribution to sales,”’ said Kataria. On being asked if Bata India will offer discounts on e-commerce platforms, he said, “one might see some discounting from channel partners.”

At present, Bata India has standalone store for the Hush Puppies brand. Going forward, it will explore the option of having similar stores for Power and Bubblegummer brands, said Khanna.
Bata India has three subsidiaries — Bata Properties, Coastal Commercial & Exim, and Way Finders brands. The company will utilise the Way Finders brand to introduce Capterpillar brand of shoes.

In FY18, the company recorded a turnover of Rs 26.36 billion, a 6 per cent growth over the previous year.

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