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Bata to open standalone ladies footwear stores across the country within a year

KOLKATA: BataBSE -0.65 % India, the country's largest footwear maker, will roll out a chain of ladies footwear stores across the country within a year, its managing director,Rajeev Gopalakrishnan, has said. 

"The ladies shoe business is growing at more than 30% for Bata India and is going to be the next big opportunity for us," Gopalakrishnan said on the sidelines of the company's 80th annual general meeting here on Tuesday. 

The company, which has 1,250 stores across the country, aims to increase the revenue contribution of its ladies footwear business, its fastest growing segment, from 20% of overall sales at present to 40%, he added. Bata's proposed ladies footwear outlets, which will be smaller than its flagship stores, will stock the company's entire range of women's shoe brands and accessories, Gopalakrishnan said. 

The ladies footwear market in India is dominated by the unorganised trade, which controls almost three quarters of it. 

Bata also plans to 
invest more than Rs 100 crore this year to set up more than 100 stores and expand manufacturing capacity of its three plants near Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore. In 2012, Bata had opened 189 new large format stores with a majority of them spread over 3,000 sq ft.