Bata to revitalize its old brand and gain popularity among the youth

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Shoe major Bata India has taken a multi-pronged approach to revamp the good old brand and enhance its appeal among the youth.

The company plans to use the existing brick-and-mortar format through the retail chain as well as the e-commerce platform to connect with consumers.

The company intends to expand the geographical reach of the brand as well as offer its products to newer online platforms, Sandeep Kataria, whole-time director and chief executive officer of Bata, said on Friday.

Bata is now present in 450 places in India. The number is set to grow, as the company believes a brand like Bata has a much wider appeal.

Moreover, it intends to spruce up the d├ęcor of the existing stores in a phased manner to give it an open, vibrant look on the lines of its international peers.

“We internally call them ‘Red Angel’ stores. It is an international format. All our new stores will be based on this concept. Moreover, our existing company-owned stores will be converted into this format when they come up for renovation,” Kataria said, after the 85th annual general meeting of the company in Calcutta.

These stores, the first such is already operational at South City Mall in Calcutta, will have a large collection of accessories, which are now increasingly becoming part of Bata’s portfolio.

Bata will also increase its advertising spend and bring in brand ambassadors who have a strong connect with the youth. It has already signed up Bollywood newbie Kriti Sanon to promote women’s footwear. Plans are afoot to get a celebrity endorsement for the men’s range as well.

The company is also promoting the “Bata at Home” concept. If a consumer fails to find his pair of choice, be it the model, size or colour, at the outlet, there will be an option to look for it online, book and pay and the shoe will be delivered at home within 48 hours. This facility is now available in 130 existing stores and will be rolled out elsewhere soon.

Bata has 1,375 stores in India. It plans to open 100 new stores this fiscal. Uday Khanna, chairman and independent director of Bata, said the company would invest around Rs 100 crore.

“We know where Bata should go. It has to be a contemporary brand appealing to the youth but needs to retain the existing loyal customers. Now, how do we go there? The company is taking all the efforts to meet the objective. If they don’t work, we will have to look for a new approach,” Khanna said.

Bata’s effort to appeal to premium customers has worked to an extent. It’s average sale price stands at Rs 600 a pair. The company has also managed to broadbase product offering to attract women. It is also taking out some of the internal brands to stand alone stores, such as Hush Puppies, Power and Bubblegummers.

The Bata scrip closed at Rs 842.25 on the BSE, up by 1.7 per cent, or Rs 14.10, on Friday.

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