Levi Strauss Seeks Nod For Direct Retail

Levi Strauss Seeks Nod For Direct Retail

Levi Strauss & Co, the maker of Levi’s denim jeans, has sought the government’s permission for converting its existing local wholesale entities into retail, joining a list of foreign brands that are seeking to gain from policy liberalisation in Asia’s No. three economy.

The US-based company hadfiled an application with the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), the nodal agency for foreign direct investment in India, seeking approval for its existing wholesale entities to engage in direct retailing and ecommerce, according to the agency’s website.

Several apparel and casual wear brands such as Pepe Jeans, Adidas and Puma have already applied for similar permissions. While Pepe is looking at setting up large format, companyowned stores, Puma plans to operate its own ecommerce portal.

Although Indian regulations allowed single-brand retailers to set up their own stores, such companies had to set up wholesale subsidiaries to supply to their chain of franchisees.

In November 2015, for the first time the government relaxed the rules for FDI in retail, permitting manufacturers to sell their products through wholesale, retail and ecommerce channel as well. “It has been decided once that a manufacturer will be permitted to sell its product through wholesale and/or retail, including through e-commerce without government approval,” the DIPP said.