Flipkart, the now Walmart-owned Indian eCommerce company, has snapped up a stake in a newly-launched fashion brand aimed at Indian youth.
Flipkart said in a press release it has invested INR 260 crore, or over $34.6 million, to buy a “significant minority stake” in Arvind Fashions’ new subsidiary, Arvind Youth Brands, which owns the Flying Machine brand of denim apparel.
The move strengthens a partnership between Flipkart and Arvind that began six years ago and comes as Walmart goes head to head with Amazon in the fast-growing Indian eCommerce market.
“Flying Machine is a brand that is known in households across India, popular with the youth and synonymous with value and style,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Flipkart’s CEO, in a press release. “Through this investment, we look forward to partnering with the team at Arvind Youth Brands to continue to grow the market for its portfolio of products and enhance the strong brand equity that has been built over the last few decades.”
Flying Machine, an “iconic,” four-decade-old Indian denim brand, will serve as “a strong style partner across metros and smaller tier towns,” Flipkart said.
In addition, Flipkart said it will work with Arvind Fashion to “collaboratively to identify opportunities and synergies” and to develop new products as well.
The investment in the youth-focused Arvind fashion venture also comes as Walmart runs into regulatory turbulence in its bid to sell food gathered directly from Indian farms on its Flipkart eCommerce platform.
India’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade rejected Flipkart’s application for a license, though the company plans to reapply.
“The partnership with the Flipkart Group will help us accelerate our online growth strategy as we focus our efforts on developing an omnichannel retail approach for Arvind Youth Brands and Flying Machine,” said J. Suresh, managing director and CEO of Arvind Fashions.