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Is shoe company Bata on the verge of closing down in Kenya? No, ignore rumours circulating on social media

IN SHORT: With over a 100 years in business, Bata is one of the biggest shoe manufacturers in Kenya. But rumours that it is about to close down, with jobs at risk, are false.

“Bata Shoe Company management in Limuru has told its employees not to report to work on Monday. The company is reportedly on the verge of closing down for maintenance,” reads a Facebook post dated 10 June 2023.

Limuru is a town in central Kenya, about 45 minutes away from the capital Nairobi.

Founded in 1894, Bata is one of the world's leading shoe manufacturing and retailing companies, with a retail network spanning over 70 countries and in five continents. 

On the African continent, Bata has a manufacturing and retail operation in Kenya and other countries.

Businesses in Kenya have taken a hit with several shutting down, with a variety of economic and political challenges blamed.

Variations of the post that Bata is closing down have been shared here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But has Bata Kenya really told its employees not to report to work? We checked.


‘We are in business!’

On 10 June 2023, the shoe retailer posted on its Facebook and Twitter pages, dispelling the rumours. “We are in business,” reads the post on their official Kenyan Twitter page. 

Bata attached a memo to the tweet, which says: “We are on a normal annual maintenance shut down, normally provided for during off peak season.”

The memo also reassures customers that all Bata stores are open. The document has been signed off by Bata’s managing director in Kenya, Benson Okumu.

Ignore the rumours circulating on social media, Bata Kenya is still operational and is not on the verge of closing down.

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