ITC all set to shut down premium retail brand Wills Lifestyle

Image result for ITC all set to shut down premium retail brand Wills LifestyleITCNSE -0.35 % is looking to shut down its premium retail brand Wills Lifestyle as part of its larger strategy to restructure and remodel the loss-making lifestyle retailing vertical.

As part of the exercise, the company had earlier this year sold its other retail brand John Players to Reliance Retail and re-launched Wills Lifestyle as WLS to focus on sustainable fashion.

The move is part of ongoing restructuring plan for lifestyle retailing business. A formal announcement in this regard is likely next month, company sources said.

Employees of the existing business are being absorbed into other businesses, they said.

ITC’s lifestyle biz has been hit by competition and aggressive discount being offered by e-commerce players like Flipkart and Amazon. In the offline space too, the company has been facing stiff competition from value fashion retailers such as Reliance Trends, Future Group’s FBB and Lifestyle’s Max.

ITC also said the GST rollout impacted its lifestyle business adversely. Wills Lifestyle currently runs 350 outlets across multiple channels, including e-commerce.

The company has been gradually shutting down stores due to high real estate prices and increasing operating costs. The revenue contribution from this segment to the company’s overall revenue is now known as ITC does not provide standalone revenue of the apparel business. Market watchers, however, say the business has not broken even.