Flipkart eyes Lee, Wrangler brand rights

(This story originally appeared in on Nov 19, 2020)

After buying a significant minority stake in Arvind Youth Brands, which owns the Flying Machine denim brand, Walmart-backed Flipkart Group is now in talks with American clothing company Kontoor Brands for the brand rights of Lee and Wrangler in India, sources said.

If the deal goes through, the Flipkart Group, which operates digital fashion retailer Myntra, will get the manufacturing and distribution rights of these brands.

“When Arvind was running Lee in India, in the late ’90s, it was the top denim brand in terms of sales. But after VF Corp took over, they started selling Lee and Wrangler, both of which have distinct personalities, in the same stores which showed a disinterest in investing in the brands. Later, they even added footwear brand Vans to these stores,” said a person familiar with the development.

While a Flipkart Group spokesperson did not reply to an emailed query from TOI, a Kontoor Brands spokesperson said, “As a company policy, we do not comment on speculation or rumours.”

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