Our story began in 1894 in a small town called Zlin, in the Czechoslovakia. The siblings Tomas, Anna and Antonin Bata founded the T.& A. Bata Shoe Company with $320 inherited from their mother. With over 300 years of family history in shoemaking, the reputation for quality and know-how of the Bata name helped propel the company’s start-up. Being the ninth generation of shoemakers, they introduced innovation which brought about the “Batovka”, a high quality, mass-manufactured, affordable shoe for working people. The Bata legacy had just begun.
BATA’s reach may be worldwide, but our presence is local. Our novel international manufacturing structure allows Bata facilities around the globe to respond to the unique needs and wants of local customers.
Bata serves a million customers each day with a business model based on quality and accessibility for all. From environmentally conscious shoes to high-tech heels, Bata’s strategic innovation and production is led by a diverse group of real people. Take a look at some of our true stories, to discover more about Bata’s pioneering products and talented innovators.
Bata shoes were imported into French Indochina in 1932 and in the same year the first retail store in the country opened. Bata’s own productions of rubber shoes began in 1940, and it significantly expanded after the construction of a new factory building in Saigon in 1950. In the subsequent years, production and sales increased, however this positive trend was interrupted by nationalisation of the Bata Company in Vietnam in 1975.
In 1932 the Bata Company exported 269,000 pairs of shoes to French Indochina; in the same year the company became registered in this area.
Business in the territory of Indochina was secured by a parent French company Bata S. A. Strasbourg, dept. Indochina(1938), i.e., Société Bata Strasbourg, annexe de Saigon (1948, 1953).
In 1932, 4 stores opened: Saigon (2), Haiphong, Cholon
In 1939 the Bata Company had 39 sale points in Vietnam (Saigon 20, Hanoi 19).
In 1940the Bata Company started production of rubber footwear in a rented building.
In the years 1949-1950own factory building in Saigon was constructed and the production was launched. During the year 1950 124,000 pairs of rubber footwear were produced.
Production in the following years constantly increased: 140,000 pairs (year 1951), 164,000 pairs (1952), 251,000 pairs (1953), 260,000 pairs (1954); leather shoes were also produced later: 800 pairs (1953), 11,000 pairs (1954).
In 1949 the Bata Company operated 6 stores in Vietnam (3 in Saigon).
In 1951 the company operated 7 stores in Vietnam and 1 store in Cambodia (total 8 in French Indochina).
After the division of country in 1954, 3 stores remained in North Vietnam (2 Hanoi, 1 Haiphong), and 4 stores in South Vietnam.
In 1975 after the reunification of Vietnam the company was nationalized.
In 1992 the Bata Company returned to the Vietnamese market through cooperation of Bata Malaysia with a Saigon Shoe Factory.
Thomas J. Bata, Remmembered, Zlín 2016, ISBN 978-80-7473-398-7
Moravský zemský archiv v Brně – Státní okresní archiv Zlín, Česko
Archives Departementales de La Moselle, Saint-Avold, France
Podnikový archiv Bata, Batanagar, India
Bata operating companies are grouped into business units. It makes sense to us to operate locally. This way we can share expertise when it comes to similarities in markets and business issues. Each group benefits from synergies specific to their requirements. That includes similarities in product development, sourcing and marketing support. It’s another example of how Bata’s global success is in reality made of thousands of local successes.
Bata, founded by Tomas Bata in Austria-Hungary, continues as a family-run business. Today our headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland, but our operations separate geographically into three divisions. Bata Europe is based in Italy and operates 500 stores offering fashionable footwear. Many of our innovative fashion lines originate at our Italian center. The world-class shoe innovation center just outside Venice supplies many of the exclusive lines found in Bata stores throughout Europe.
Bata International serves customers in much of Asia, the Pacific and Africa through its 3,000 stores and many dealers. It is supervised from Singapore. Bata International operates shoe innovation centers in several countries, as well as 23 factories to serve individual markets.
Bata Latin America is based in Mexico City. Bata is the leading retailer of shoes in Latin America. We’re also the leading marketer of children’s branded footwear!
The world of Bata is one thing and many things. From Paris to Nairobi, our shops have a common culture: customers and their needs. Yet every Bata shop is also different, a unique expression of its locale and its people. While the brand resonates beyond the confines of a shop or the borders of a country, it is also rooted in thousands of individual locations.