Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)

Ethiopia: Bata Shoes to Stomp in Ethiopia

Bata Shoes, an international brand, opens its first store in Addis Abeba onAdwa Avenue, near the former British Council, taking over a shop that was once operated by Kibur Pastry.

The business, owned by Habesha Cultural Centre and Art Gallery Plc, is starting here as a franchise of the Kenyan branch of the footwear maker. Habesha is owned by Bedru Muzeyen.

First established in 1894 in the nowCzechRepublic, Bata, manufacturer and retailer of footwear, has a presence in 70 countries.

The franchise business gives the local owner an exclusive right to retail and distribute the brand inEthiopiaand use its business model in sales and marketing operations, according to a press release from Habesha.

"The terms of the franchise agreement will last for 10 years," said Israel Getachew, sales and marketing manager for the Ethiopian business.

The agreement allows Habesha to open retail outlets inEthiopiaand to supply Bata products to distributors and retailers throughout the country.

"InKenya, we do our own manufacturing locally in the main plant established in 1920," said Andrew Duma, a Bata manager fromKenya.

Bata is different from other shoe factories, according to Duma, because it targets customers at all income levels.

The Bata brand offers a wide range of shoes of all varieties including formal wear, casual, sport, fashion, safari, beach wear, sandals and tongs for people of all age groups.

Bata has set up shop, and started displaying its brand footwear on a spot previously occupied by the Kibur Pastry onHaileselassie Street.

It also provides professional shoes for factories, schools and army uniforms that focus on comfort and safety.

The shoes will be available locally, at affordable prices, says Bedru

Habesha Cultural Centre and Art Gallery plc, established in 2004, has stores in Dembel City Centre where it sells local art and other traditional items.

The store occupies an area of 200sqm, half of which is the sales floor while the remaining half is used for storing inventory. Bedru said that his company rented the shop from the government, but declined to say how it passed from Kib Pastry to his company.

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