arikei Bata has come a long way since the early 1970s (maybe even 1960s). It was a household name for school shoes with the tagline "first to Bata then to school". Before school reopened, you would naturally set foot into the original Bata shop at No. 42 Repok Road (Block 5 Right counting from Rejang River; Henghua operated). Do you still recall those washable white clothed shoes? Bata now serves different market segments with brands such as Weinbrenner, Marie Claire, Comfit, Power, Bubblegummers and North Star.
Bata is not a local Malaysian brand as some of you may have thought. It was registered in Zlin, Czechoslovakia by the siblings Tomáš, Anna and Antonín Bata in 1894. Sarikei's Bata shop moved from Repok Road to a newer shop tucked away near the back of Methodist school (next to Swee Hung Supermart) and moved again in 2006 to Jalan Masjid Lama, next to Dragon Inn hotel. I'm not sure whether the original fanchiser (a family with 2 sons) are still running the Bata franchise in Sarikei.
Bata Shoe size chart. Size does matter.
Click to enlarge. Click "back" to come back.
In the old days for those rural kids that didn't travel to town, their parent would cut out a cardboard of the foot to bring to Bata. Some simply brought along a raffia string of the foot's length! Purchase exchanges were allowed.
Bata, in a sense, has served Sarikei well as a "sole" provider, step by step.