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Bata expects recovery in demand around festival season

May '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
About half of Bata India’s retail outlets are operational now and the shoe manufacturer and retailer expects a revival in demand by September with the onset of the festival season. The company too has put expansion plans on hold but is working on growing its e-commerce footprints and also taking help of WhatsApp to reach out to customers.

The demand has been rising for the last three weeks and the trend is expected to continue as consumers start feeling more confident, Bata India chief executive officer Sandeep Kataria told reporters in a video conference call.

The company, he said, also expects online order to go up and is already witnessing an escalation in the number of orders from its website and strengthening its operation and integration with existing stores. The company is not planning to open any new stores in the next three to six months.

Besides, the company has also renegotiated terms and conditions with almost half of its property owners, granting waiver in the rentals for the lockdown period and revised agreements till the company is able to get back to a stabilised demand, Indian media reported.

The sales recovery rate at outlets in residential areas and smaller tier II, IV and V markets are higher and has almost returned to the pre-COVID levels. However, the company expects its high street stores to take a longer time to recover.

"Demand is moving up, we are tracking on a week to week basis, it varies significantly based on type of stores and the part of the country. High street stores are taking longer while those in residential complexes are bouncing back better. Once the official lockdown is over, we will be in a better position,” said Kataria.

Bata India has introduced two new collections during the pandemic: the ‘work from home’ collection of shoes and easy wash footwear, which can be washed with soap. It has also introduced foot disinfecting spray and surface sanitising wipes, to be made available from June.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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