Canada: Shoemaker to the World

The world walks in everything from sandals and slippers to sabots and bare soles, but its largest shoemaker covets every foot — and aims to cover it. This year Canada's Bata Ltd. (pronounced Bot-ya) will produce 190 million pairs of shoes in 3,000 styles sewn in 80 plants scattered over 67 countries. It has opened 16 plants in the past three years, last week opened another on tiny Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, and plans to build two more soon in Uganda and France. To run this mixed shoe bag more effectively, Bata next month will move into a modernistic...