Going slow on new store openings, will continue expanding into newer towns: Bata India on COVID-19

Going slow on new store openings, will continue expanding into newer towns: Bata India on COVID-19
New Delhi, July 13 () Footwear major Bata India Ltd on Monday said it is going slow on new store openings in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic but will continue expanding into new towns through franchise route.

Disclosing the impact of COVID-19 in a regulatory filing, Bata India said after the relaxation of lockdown it has so far reopened more than 1,200 of its 1,400 stores across the country but restrictions are in place on number of days and hours of operations.


"All our office establishments, manufacturing plants and warehouses have started operations as per the respective state guidelines," the filing said.

Bata India's revenue from operations for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 stood at Rs 619.70 crore, down by 9 per cent as compared to the corresponding period previous year "primarily due to suspension of the company's stores towards second half for the month of March 2020 as per government directives for COVID- 19".

On its ability to maintain operations, the company said: "As we went into the Covid-19 scenario with stock in our hand, that stock is there and the requirement for the factories to produce is only limited."

Commenting on the estimation of the future impact of the health crisis, the company said: "While the pandemic will have an impact on consumer behaviour 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."


It further said: "The company is going slow on new store openings but will continue expanding into newer towns via the franchise route."

Strengthening its digital channel, Bata India said it has "also increased its focus on e-commerce channels and its own website as well. Additionally, we are using services like WhatsApp to stay in touch with consumers and enable omni-channel sales."

The company said it is "recalibrating business operations with a strengthened product portfolio, a steady focus on cash conservation in the company and better online presence and services to ensure seamless shopping experiences for our consumers".

It is working on various cost-optimisation measures, including rentals renegotiation, closure of unviable stores and digitalisation drive across the organisation to eliminate redundancies and bring efficiency in the value chain, Bata India added. RKL SHW SHW

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