In the city for a ‘destination store’ launch, Bata chairman Thomas George Bata says the brand focusses on these stores to meet the needs of all family members
An obedient crowd has gathered outside the swanky new Bata showroom in Forum Vijaya Mall (Vadapalani) as actor Trisha launches it. The interiors are red and white, the signature colours, with ample space to display the brands that Bata has been associated with. Colourful Angry Bird Crocs, flip flops, Bubble Gummers, comfort footwear and sneakers… a lot’s happening in the store.
“We have a long heritage in India and try to constantly reinvent ourselves,” says Thomas George Bata, chairman and chief executive of Bata. “We’re also planning to open up more training centres and facilities in India. We’ve already started exchange programs where our staff from India, work in another country for six months. So it’s a big opportunity and it helps them get better at their work.” The brand also has five manufacturing units in the country.
The store, about 3,000-odd sq.ft., houses about 10 to 15 brands such as Scholl, Hush Puppies, Power, Ambassador, Mocassino and others, mostly in-store. ““We’ve customised our stores to suit the needs of families looking for variety. Destination stores, such as the one in this mall, will have something for every member.”
Bata, which has about 1,250 shops across the country, now plans to grow at 100 more a year. “We managed to open even more last year,” says Rajeev Gopalakrishnan, group managing director, Bata India. Bata launched women’s handbags too recently. “The brand is growing. Now that more people are travelling and more women are working and spending on themselves, there is more demand for our products. The women’s category is the fastest growing, as of now.”
The store will have something new every week, says Thomas Bata. “I think luxury products are a niche, and that’s not what we’re concentrating on. For now, we are only looking at positioning ourselves through value and style,” says Rajeev. “We want to have products of affordable prices and will keep evolving depending on our consumer’s lifestyle.”
The new Bata showroom is located on the first floor of the mall.