Present in India for over 80 years, shoemaker Bata is renewing focus on the young generation by lining up new launches in youth-oriented space through its sub-brands like Power and Weinbrenner even as the company is doubling advertising budget this year.
The company is also tapping into the fast growing e-commerce segment partnering major players like Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra and Jabong besides its own portal while it also focuses on providing good customer experience at its retails stores.
“With majority of India becoming younger, Bata has lined up major new launches in typically youth-oriented spaces with our sub-brands like Power – combining world-class technology with on-trend style, ‘Weinbrenner’ for providing a truly international outdoor experience and ‘Footin’ the definitive fast-fashion label in footwear,” Bata Emerging Markets, South Asia, President Rajeev Gopalakrishnan told news agency PTI as saying.
He further said: “We are now speaking the language of the youth and our social media presence and blogs go beyond shoes and offer suggestions on entire wardrobe curation which our consumers can benefit from.”
As part of that, Bata is focusing the brand to encompass style and fashion and is also using social media to engage with its younger customers.
“At present, we are developing the communication across all touch points that conveys Bata’s point of view on these attributes. We are also doubling our advertising budget for 2017,” Gopalakrishnan said.
Bata, which has a network of over 1,200 stores, is adopting dual strategy for expansion.
“We have been following dual strategy of driving same stores growth and opening new stores in under-served locations and cities. We continuously evaluate new locations and have currently over 100 potential trade areas that cover both malls and high street areas,” he further told PTI.
Presently, 40 per cent of Bata India sales come from cities and rest from smaller cities.
“Almost 40 per cent comes from cities, while the remaining will come from the low tier cities and towns where consumers are looking for convenience, latest designs and diverse range for different occasions,” said Gopalakrishnan.
Bata India has plans to “open stores focusing on Bata, Hush Puppies, Footin, thereby catering to family, women, mens, youth, kids and corporate professionals and entrepreneurs segments.”
Besides brick & mortar retail, the company is also focusing on online sales through its own portal Bata.in and several other channel partners.
“Our Omnichannel presence makes it easy for consumers to either buy online and collect it at the store, or place a request for a product that they can reserve for up to 48 hours for trial in store,” he said.
Asked whether the company is facing threat on its market dominance in non-metro markets, where rivals have made inroads in last few years, he said that Bata is strengthening itself significantly in the metros.
“We have evolved from building a wide range across multiple categories to now launching more flagship products & hero collections. Far from shrinking, we have in fact strengthened ourselves further in metros by always changing and innovating to cater to the changing trends in our consumers’ life,” Gopalakrishnan was quoted by PTI as saying.