Bata: back in action with new retail strategy

MUMBAI: If you were to ask an Indian customer about the best footwear in the eighties, the name that first popped in his mind was Bata. But that was before private Indian and international brands came in. And made the Canadian shoe maker look fuddy-duddy and worn out, so much that it was almost kicked out of the market.

The new comers invested in snazzy retail outlets, with great displays and interiors and also sold products, which were seen to be hip and with it. But no more. Bata is making a comeback and with a vengeance. With a range of stores that it promises will help draw in customers like before.

The first of these new generation flagship stores at Nirmal Lifestyle Shopping Complex, Mulund, Mumbai was inaugurated by Bata India managing director Stephen Davies on 23 January.



The new store, conceptualized by Bata and designed by renowned architect-designer Sanjiv Verma, reflecting international trends, is totally different from any other existing Bata stores in the country. Be it in terms of colour, interior and product placements.

“Bata, reinventing itself as an international retailer and offering customers the best in footwear in terms of fashion, quality and price has introduced the concept of flagship stores to provide complete and unique shopping experience at par with their stores abroad. International trends, relaxed ambience, great products, and courteous staff at the new-look Flagship store are all a part of Bata’s new marketing strategy” says Davies.

Bata’s brand new collection of highly fashionable international range of ladies footwear under the Marie Claire brand will be one of the major attractions at this flagship store The store will also showcase top-of-the-line brands including the latest international collection from Weinbrenner, Hush Puppies, Bubble Gummer, Dr Scholls and Bata Tech shoes. Brands like Nike, Reebok and Adidas will also be available. The store will additionally offer trendy accessories like caps, T-shirts and other lifestyle products - making it a complete one-stop shopping experience for its customers.

Says Bata India senior vice-president Enrico Tonolli, in charge of the flagship stores: “We plan to have around 10 Bata Flagship stores in the major cities in the country like Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad by the end of 2004. All the flagship stores will be abuzz with round-the-year activities and will see introduction of Bata’s global range of high-fashion footwear at regular intervals”.

A statement issued by the company says that "it will continue to remain a household name for the people of India - marketing footwear for the family through a chain of modern large format retail outlets and bringing in new trends and brands to suit the needs of both the traditional and the trendy."

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