Bata Kenya bets on military shoes to grow market share

Bata Africa President Alberto Errico

Global shoe manufacturing company Bata Shoe Kenya is eyeing to grow its local manufacturing by introducing functional and fashionable shoes into the local market.

This was revealed by Bata Africa President Alberto Errico recently.

“The Bata Limuru Factory produces over 30 million pairs of shoes annually and this month, we have introduced the military footwear dubbed, Combat by Bata, and we have worked on a pilot production, to ascertain their quality and specifications,’’ explained Errico in an interview. Mr Errico said that this is in line with the company’s strategy to boost the country’s leather sector.

“As a company, we have heavily invested in the production of Combat brand as we are set to produce 400,000 pairs annually,” he said.

The Limuru-based shoe manufacturer has designated a special team who have been trained on the military footwear.

“This kind of footwear requires trained workmanship to be able to manufacture shoes for military. We have also imported special machines from for this kind of projects.”

The global shoe manufacturer also plans to expand into West African countries of Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast.

North Africa market is also part of the expansion plan, with initial set up targeted in Egypt.

“This new strategy seeks to stamp our authority on the continent as the leading shoe manufacturer. Already, we have signed a number of agreements with outlets in this region, which will act as our selling points,” he said.

He observed that the franchising model remains an effective way of capturing new markets.

“At the moment, Kenya serves all these markets but come June 2019, we shall be having these factories up and running, this will help us cut down the exportation cost,” added Errico.“ As you all know that beginning of this year we shifted our focus to durable trendy shoes as we seek to grow our market share.”

He noted that the firm took part in the Bata Fashion Weekend 2018 in Milan’s prestigious Palazzo Mezzanotte last April which has boosted its brand, adding that the local fashion industry has also seen a tremendous growth.

He observed that the company will pump an additional Sh100 million into the Kenyan market.