Renowned for manufacturing some of South Africa's most beloved shoes, including the Toughees range of quality leather school shoes and TOMY Takkies, Bata South Africa has shifted its headquarters from Pinetown's light industrial area to the dynamic corporate environment of La Lucia.
The decision is in line with Bata South Africa’s ambitious five-year strategic growth plan, and its aspiration to foster collaboration, innovation, and productivity in the workplace as the foundation for future success. The strategic growth plan includes expansion into African and Middle Eastern markets.
Michael Wyatt, country manager of Bata South Africa, comments, "Bata South Africa is embarking on an exciting and forward-thinking journey. Our Pinetown head office has served as an ideal base for the brand's growth within the country over the past decades, garnering affection from former and current employees, as well as friends of Bata throughout the years. Nevertheless, the time has come for a change as we require a hybrid and collaborative tech-driven approach that enhances our team's performance in the office and facilitates seamless connectivity with our international counterparts."
Currently in the midst of its first year of a comprehensive five-year plan, spanning from 2023 to 2027, Bata South Africa is actively engaged in forging strategic partnerships with retailers across South Africa and Africa.
"During the Covid-19 lockdown period, we maintained a cautious approach focusing on our core business, which proved successful for us as a local manufacturing brand. Now, as we transition into an expansion model with inherent risks, we are committed to investing in our brands, strengthening our infrastructure, empowering our workforce, and laying the groundwork for substantial progress through to 2027. While we continue to maintain a significant portion of local manufacturing output, we will also introduce other brands from Bata's international portfolio," explains Wyatt.
In recent weeks, Bata South Africa has unveiled an exclusive collection from its Canadian-designed Power footwear brand, encompassing lifestyle and high-performance athletic shoes, available at select Mr Price Sport stores nationwide and online.
Additionally, the youth sneaker range, North Star, originally established in Canada in 1948 and now meticulously designed in Italy, debuted at Mr Price in July, marking its return to local retail shelves after an absence from the South African market for several years.
"Partnerships and collaborations form the crux of our strategy, and our new location amidst a thriving community of international businesses will enhance our accessibility and opportunities. We eagerly anticipate this new chapter," adds Wyatt.
The bolstering of Bata South Africa's strategy coincides with the appointment of seasoned professionals who bring invaluable external expertise to the organisation, including the regional strategy and initiatives leader for Africa and the Middle East, regional marketing and business expansion lead, regional merchandising collection head – Africa and Middle East, and a new finance director – South Africa, among others.
Bata's new head office is situated at Rydall Vale Office Park, 5 Rydall Vale Crescent, La Lucia.
Featuring state-of-the-art meeting rooms and collaborative workspaces, every aspect of the new location has been designed to cater to the evolving needs and aspirations of Bata South Africa's workforce and the business as a whole.
"The new location also means we are minutes away from popular shopping malls, which we can easily access for quick retail competitor research and consumer shopping insights. This knowledge is essential for understanding and meeting our customers' desires, which is fundamental to any successful business," states Wyatt.