Bata steps up expansion drive to increase sales

PHOTO | FILE

A girl looks at one of the products on display in a Bata shop in Nyeri. Bata is planning to expand its operations in Kenya and other regional markets.

Bata shoe company is banking on an expansion drive to increase its presence both in the Kenyan and regional markets as competition in the footwear market hots up.

The firm’s chief executive, Mr Nasir Rafiq, said the footwear company will modernise its stores and product collection-line to align them with fashion trends. The company is also targeting school shoe programmes to drive up sales.

He was speaking during the launch of the Bata Miss World Kenya collection at Laico Regency Hotel on Thursday.

Last year, the company sold over 10 million pairs of footwear in Kenya but targets to increase this to 30 million. Its manufacturing plant in Limuru has also been upgraded to serve as the regional manufacturing hub for East and Central Africa.

The company’s expansion drive is set to increase competition in the market that has seen the entry of other investors like Deacons, which operates franchises like Woolworths, Trueworths, Mr Price and Kids Collection dealing in the sale of shoes, clothing and other fashion products.

The move raises competition for mitumba shoe-sellers, who are facing reduced profits due to congestion at the Mombasa Port and an increase in import duty that has raised the cost of imports.

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