Bata India’s quarterly profit nearly halves– the 89-year old company has resorted to home delivery and wooing customers via WhatsApp

File photo of a Bata storeBCCL
  • Bata India saw its profits fall by 45% in the first three months of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Since the beginning of the year, its shares have fallen by 26.4%.
  • Bata has been ramping up its e-commerce presence and is now also taking orders through WhatsApp.
The iconic footwear brand Bata saw its profits fall by 45% in the first three months of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Its profits stood at ₹573 million, down from ₹1052 million in the same quarter the previous year. Its revenue fell xx% to ₹6368 million.

However, the company’s shares saw a slight jump and were trading at ₹1283.60 on Tuesday morning. But since the beginning of the year, its shares have fallen by 26.4%.

BI India

Although consumer sentiment has been dismal since the beginning of February as people stayed home and avoided crowds and malls, these numbers account for only 5 days of lockdown when the shops were shut. In the month of April, all of its stores were shut and it was able to open its stores in May.
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However, the 89-year old company in India is finally giving in to the demands of e-commerce. Bata has been ramping up its e-commerce presence and is now also taking orders through WhatsApp.

“Given the ongoing crisis, we are expanding our e-commerce footprint via ramping our presence in online marketplaces allowing delivery in over 1300 cities, rolling out home delivery across 900+ stores and giving customers the option to shop from homes via WhatsApp chat with our neighborhood stores,” said Sandeep Kataria, CEO, Bata India.

But even after lockdown, consumers are going to be cautious about their spending.In lieu of a global recession, people aren’t going to loosen their purse strings.
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“After the control of the spread of the coronavirus and post the lock-down period, the spending as well as shopping patterns of the consumers are expected to change significantly. The consumers are likely to curtail their discretionary spending with reduced income in their hands as well as tendency to preserve cash,” said a report by CARE ratings.

However, Bata is confident. “While the pandemic will have an impact on consumer behavior and demand, we believe brands such as Bata are strong trust marks and with the investment in our quality over the years and safety in stores to build confidence, we will gain share as consumers tend to avoid risk post the crisis,” said Kataria.

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