Global sportswear major Nike is selling its shoes to Bangladeshi consumers for the first time through Bata's nationwide retail network.

Officials at Bata said the latest ranges of running, soccer, tennis, basketball and sports shoes from Nike will initially be available in major cities.

Nike hopes to tap into the country's growing upper middle-class market, currently estimated to be about 10% of the population or roughly 15m people.
 
Bangladesh's US$300m a year footwear market is relatively small compared to its large population of 150m, but the market has a double digit annual growth with consumption of brand shoes growing at over 20%, according to the industry sources.
 
Bata officials told just-style that as well as Nike they are selling international brands such as Hush Puppies and Scholl, and have plans to add more.
 
Currently, Bata is the largest footwear retailer Bangladesh. In addition to its own 238 stores, it has over a thousand wholesalers, dealers and licensed retail shops.

Last year, it sold over 30m pairs of shoes with a turnover of about US$68m. 

By Jahir Ahmed.