Local competition forces Bata to sell Hawaii brand

June 19th, 2008 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, June 19 (IANS) Footwear major Bata India Ltd sold its Hawaii brand of slippers to a Brazilian company, Alpragatas, for Rs.39 million last year, company chairman P.M. Sinha announced Thursday at its 75th annual general meeting here. “It was difficult to compete with local slipper makers; they sell at one-third or one-fifth our prices,” he said.

Sinha said Bata planned to invest around Rs.20 million on 240-250 new outlets in the next three years, apart from renovating and upgrading 100 outlets. The new outlets would be between 3,000 square feet 11,000 square feet.

At present, it has 1,200 outlets in the country.

“We are trying to revive and upgrade 74 cash-strained outlets, and if we fail, we will close these units and transfer those working there,” Sinha said.

Bata is currently focussing on manufacturing shoes for defence and paramilitary personnel, as well as airlines and hospitals to increase institutional selling.

The company is also developing a special purpose vehicle (SPV), Riverbank Holdings Pvt. Ltd, at Batanagar on a 262-acre plot in a 50-50 partnership with Calcutta Metropolitan Group Ltd.

It plans to rope in retail giants to set up units in that area.

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