India is likely to become the most important market for Bata Shoe Organisation (BSO) by 2018, a top company official said.
According to a PTI report: The Switzerland-based shoe major, the parent company of Bata India, expects India to be number one in terms of turnover, surpassing Italy, by December 31 this year.
“India is the second most important market. But, it is growing so fast that probably it will be the most important market by end of this year in terms of turnover,” Christine Bata Schmidt, Director, BSO was quoted by PTI as saying.
She was in the city for the launch of a CSR programme.
Schmidt said the company’s operating board is meeting on March 22 and 23 in Delhi after a gap of just three years despite BSO’s presence in 70 countries, a sign of India’s importance for the global shoemaker.
Net Sales of Bata India rose 6.2 percent to Rs 674 crore in the quarter ended December 2017, as against Rs 634.6 crore during the corresponding quarter a year ago.
India had already become BSO’s number-one market in terms of number of pairs sold.
Schmidt said the company will focus on the digital platform in the next few years, but will not go for the discounting model to push sales.
Both brick-and-mortar stores and digital platform will complement each other, she said.
“The interesting thing about digital is that there are some pure digital players in the market. They have been growing incredibly fast. The question is how sustainable is that?
“There are some really interesting studies being done. It shows, digital sales goes up if companies have a store, and it goes down if they close the store. It is because the brand disappears from the consumers’ vision,” Schmidt told PTI.
Bata India has about 1,200 stores across the country.
Schmidt will also pay a visit to the country’s oldest manufacturing base for Bata India at Batanagar in south 24 Parganas district.