Having embarked on a consolidation drive, Bata India is now looking at a rejig of its product-mix with an objective of increasing the share of women’s shoes, Chairman Uday Khanna said here on Tuesday.

Addressing reporters after the company’s annual general meeting here , he said that an aggressive rate of growth in sales of ladies shoes was being planned, in tune with global trends where women’s shoe sales, at 40 per cent, exceed that of men’s.

“The trend is opposite in India but we plan to change this. A 30 per cent rate of growth was being targeted for ladies’ shoes which now has a 25 per cent share in Bata India’s sales,” Rajeev Gopalakrishnan, Group Managing Director, said. He said that several initiatives had been taken in this regard, including the launch of a new range, ‘Sundrops’, which is being produced internally. A major campaign is being planned for popularising this range of stylish but comfortable shoes. He said that Bata was also planning to launch ‘concept stores’ for women to popularise its range.

Earlier, Mr. Khanna had said that Bata achieved growth in all its business areas in 2012 (calendar year) with a 19.6 per cent growth in turnover and a 20.8 per cent growth in net profit.

In the context of shareholders’ clamour for bonus shares, Mr. Khanna told reporters that the company would consider this if performance improved. “I will have to service this liability after all,” he said.

Mr. Khanna said that the company would take steps to merge its two subsidiaries — Bata Properties Ltd. and Coastal Commercial & Exim Ltd. — with itself within a year.

He said that as part of the company’s strategy of retail expansion, 189 large format stores, shop-in-shop and exclusive stores were opened. To achieve volume growth, 10 ‘Footin’ stores — unique in terms of display and ambience and focussing on trendy yet affordable shoes — was launched. Bata India has 1,250 stores in total. Additionally, the company has increased its reach by tying up with websites such as Jabong, Snapdeal and others.

The company sells around 50 million pairs annually and is eyeing a 20 per cent growth in overall sales this fiscal and Rs.100 crore investment on factory modernisation and opening of 100 new stores. It has a 20 per cent share of the organised footwear market.

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