Bata to concentrate on same-store growth

Kolkata, Aug 4 (IANS) Bata India has changed its strategy of opening over 100 stores a year and would start concentrating on same-store growth, a top company official said on Thursday.

The shoe-maker also plans to set up online kiosks in some major retail stores across the country and will be looking at opening franchise-based stores, mainly in tier-3 and tier-4 cities. The company will invest Rs 80-100 crore a year for modernisation, renovation of its manufacturing facilities and to strengthen its retail operations.

“The company has changed its strategy of opening 100-plus stores every year and is now concentrating more on achieving same-store growth,” said company Chairman Uday Khanna.

The shoe-maker added 26 new retail stores during the last financial year, he told shareholders at the company’s 83rd annual general meeting here.

“We used to open 100 stores a year and, going forward, we will be opening 50-60 stores in a year. We are looking at opening franchise-based stores. We have already opened 30 stores in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat as a pilot project,” said company Managing Director and President (South Asia) Rajeev Gopalakrishnan.

“Our intention is to have 200-300 franchise-based stores in tier-3 and tier-4 cities and rural areas in the next couple of years,” he said.

Khanna also said the company is planning to set up online kiosks in some of the major retail stores across the country wherein customers shall have the option to buy footwear of their choice online.

The company continues to penetrate into tier-2 and tier-3 cities in India and other rural markets. “We will have to develop a separate kind of product line to cater to these markets,” said Gopalakrishnan.

“Manufacturing is our focus. We will invest Rs 20-25 crore in the next one-and-half to two years time for modernisation of Batanagar factory in West Bengal,” he said.

In addition to its modernisation programme, the company will invest another Rs 50 crore for retail operation. “Put together, a total of Rs 80-100 crore will be invested in a year,” he said.

In 2015-16, online sales reached Rs 40 crore. Online sales contribute 1.5 per cent of the total sales and the company has the target to scale up the share to 5 per cent in the near future. “Going forward, we will have 90 per cent exclusive collection for online platform,” he added.

The company reported standalone net profit of Rs 50.49 crore for the first quarter that ended on June 30 as compared to Rs 50.18 crore in the same period last year.



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