Under Armour in talks with Myntra for offline business
BENGALURU: Myntra is in an advanced stage of discussions to manage top US sportswear brand Under Armour’s offline stores in India, two people aware of the matter said. Once finalised, this would be the first major foreign brand being on-boarded for offline store management by the new leadership team of Myntra, after Walmart acquired 77% stake in Flipkart Group, which owns the fashion e-tailer.
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Myntra, which has been undertaking multiple changes following its former CEO Ananth Narayanan’s exit, opened a 3,200-sqft store in Bengaluru that is smaller than the flagship Myntra’s Roadster store (4,000 sqft), which was shut earlier this year.
People aware of the matter said the company is focusing on managing stores in high-footfall shopping malls targeting young shoppers, instead of high-street locations, which also typically have higher rents.
“The talks should fructify in a formal arrangement in a couple of months. There is aggressive focus on getting international brands to work with Myntra as exclusively as possible,” a person aware of the goings-on said.
The company in March said Swedish retailer H&M has inked a pact to sell its products across Myntra and Jabong. Typically, under such agreements, Myntra would open 10-12 offline stores and those products will be available exclusively on Myntra-Jabong.
Incidentally, Under Armour first entered India two years ago by selling exclusively on Amazon India. For Flipkart group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who now looks after Myntra-Jabong, Under Armour would be a significant name to add to the omni-channel strategy. At present, Under Armour has one store in Delhi, which was opened in March.
“It is deeply satisfying for us that the brands are also seeing us as an unparalleled & unique channel for their growth and also to strengthen their positioning in India,” a Myntra spokesperson said, without commenting directly on TOI’s query about Under Armour. “We do not respond to speculation,” the Maryland-based sportswear major said.
Under Krishnamurthy, the company is tweaking its omni-channel strategy and brand-positioning as online and offline retailers are increasingly joining hands. For instance, Amazon picked up a 5% stake in brick-and-mortar retailer Shoppers Stop and both companies use each other’s platform to tap new users. Amazon is also in talks to pick up a stake in Future group even as the latter has started selling on the former’s India platform.