Shoe major Bata India Ltd is gearing up for institutional sales of footwear besides enhancing its retail presence across the country.
The Indian arm of Canadian outfit Bata Shoe Organisation (BSO) claims that its vast international product portfolio and tech expertise will give it an edge to bolster institutional sales in India like it has successfully done in Chile and s few other South American countries. Initially, the company is eyeing specialized footwear for the Indian defence forces, aviation, construction and hospital sectors.
On the retail front, the company is planning to open 240 new outlets, both company-owned and franchised, and upgrade 60-80 existing stores over the next three years. Bata currently has a retail network of 1,200 stores, of which 143 are company-owned ones and the rest franchised.
Bata India, which has posted a profit of Rs 47.4 crore in 2007 on a sales turnover of Rs 890 crore is also planning to close down some of its loss-making stores in north and western part of India if efforts to revive them doesn’t bear fruit.
Speaking to reporters at the 75th annual general meeting here, Bata India chairman PM Sinha said that currently the numbeswr of such “cash drained” stores are 74. Sinha said that Bata has also sold its hugely popular “hawaii” brand of chappals to a Brazilian firm Al Pragatis for Rs 3.9 crore. Stiff competition and higher cost of production has prompted Bata to sell off the “Hawaii” that has now become a household name in India.