Milan, April 28 (IANS) This footwear company has a 85-year-old legacy and has a wide global presence, including in India. Thomas Archer Bata, the fourth-generation scion of the family that owns Bata Shoe Co., wants to break the perception of those customers who tag the brand as "old fashioned" with his ideologies as well as growth and expansion plans.
"I think it's an asset to take care of the company which has such a strong legacy. I know that many feel that the company is old fashioned because they don't change quick enough, but this is what I want to change. You have to take good things from the past and add that in future planning and make it fresh," Thomas told IANS here during an interaction on the sidelines of the second edition of Bata Fashion Weekend (BFW).
Moving from Prague to Milan in the second edition, BFW is a platform to bring customers closer to the brand and introduce to them their most updated and fashionable line in the form of fashion shows, concept stores and announcements.
Bata, the Chief Marketing Officer at the Lausanne, Switzerland-based company, is carrying on the legacy of the famed name. He says that with Bata's current 'Red Label shoe collection', the brand is targeting the youth who are somehow going away from the brand.
"With this line, we wanted to show that how cool and glamorous we can be. We saw that youth somehow are moving away from our brand and we can't afford to lose them. We have delivered great and durable designs in the past and we want to add to that with cool and glamorous pieces.
"We want to bridge that gap. We want to tell people to give us a chance. I think I will convince them to be believers," Thomas told IANS.
The Indian youth too is important to the brand.
"We just started working with actress Kriti Sanon who has been roped in as our brand ambassador. She is the perfect fit as she appeals to the youth. We have common grounds," he said.
India is Bata's second largest market after Italy, and Thomas has big plans for Indian market in days to come.
They have opened their first few red store concepts in India. The concept is to have red and white stores inspired by the Bata logo and are pillar-less to give a shopper a clear and complete view of the offerings.
"That is working really well. So, the reception of Indian consumers for more global collections has been very good. We are planning to continue that and give more diversity to the products to the Indian customers," he said.
"I think I am very optimistic as our brand has an amazing history. The future is fantastic. There is Increasing appetite in young to younger consumers... They want good things and we are making them."
(Nivedita is in Milan on the invitation of Bata Fashion Weekend organisers. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)