Online retailer Flipkart is in discussions with Future Group Chief Executive Officer Kishore Biyani to buy 8%-10% stake in Future Lifestyle Fashions Ltd, the fashion arm of the conglomerate, The Economic Times reported on Wednesday.
The top management from both sides met last week in Mumbai to discuss the matter, according to unidentified officials. Follow-up meetings will be held after Diwali, they added.
Myntra, which Flipkart owns, will be the likely vehicle for the partnership, according to the daily. Future Lifestyle is one of the largest branded apparel retailers in the country. It owns and markets 41 domestic and global fashion brands such as Lee Cooper, Scullers, Indigo Nation, John Miller and Jealous 21.
Online and offline retailers are now entering each other’s territories to combat shrinking retail margins. Last month, Amazon, Flipkart’s biggest rival, bought five per cent equity in retail major Shoppers Stop Ltd for Rs 179.25 crore.
Retail sector analysts told The Economic Times that globally it was becoming crucial for online retailers to have street presence. Amazon had acquired grocery chain Whole Foods for almost $14 billion in June. In China, Alibaba and JD.com have been shopping for retailers to have a comprehensive click-and-mortar strategy, the newspaper said.