Chennai: Global footwear manufacturer BATA is planning to opening 100 stores in the country every year, a top official said on Saturday. BATA, which is considered as one of the household names in the country, is also eyeing specialised footwear stores for some of its licenced brands like HushPuppies.
    
"We have around 1,250 stores across India. And every year we are planning to open almost 100 stores. Last year, we opened a little bit more. We opened 189 stores. Now, going forward, we are planning to open 100 stores every year...", BATA India Ltd, Group Managing Director Rajeev Gopalakrishnan told reporters.
    
Popular film actress Trisha Krishnan inaugurated one of the outlets for Bata at the famous The Forum Vijaya Mall in Vadapalani. "We invest almost Rs one crore for a store spread across 3,000 square foot", Balakrishnan said.
    
The company is also planning to have specialized footwear stores for its licensed brands like Hushpuppies across India, he said.
    
"BATA is a destination for primary customers looking for great choice of products and rands. Most part of brands are owned specialized brands. That's why you see bigger (BATA) stores," BATA Global Chairman and Chief Executive, Thomas George Bata said.
    
He said in India the company has 30 exclusive outlets for retailing Hush Puppies range of shoes. "It is our licencing brand. Here we have almost 30 outlets across the country. Definitely it (the specialized store concept) is growing better. There is a possibility we may focus more on independent stores. Every year we may add 5-10 stores...", he said.
    
Stating that India's huge population offers a lot of opportunity for BATA, George Bata said, his company has been witnessing a 20 percent top line growth year on year. "I would say China and India are the largest (markets for Bata). A country like Indonesia is starting to show some tremendous amount of growth (for BATA). Here, we grow 20 percent year-on-year", he said.
    
"Europe is a major market for us. But, some of your neighboring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh are developing very well for Bata," he said. Balakrishnan later responding to a query said out of the Rs 70,000 crore domestic footwear industry, 70 percent was unorganized, while Bata holds more than 30 percent market share in the organized market.

(Agencies)

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