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Suppliers cry foul over Flipkart’s delayed payments for private label fashion brands

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Pranav Balakrishnan

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Pranav Balakrishnan

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Suppliers of Flipkart's private label fashion brands are alleging that Flipkart India—the e-commerce giant's label’s wholesale arm—is reneging on purchase orders it issued to them. Is this indicative of the e-commerce giants waning interest in its fashion private label business?

June 26, 2023

10 MINS READ

Key Takeaways

  • Flipkart allegedly owes crores of rupees to manufacturers across the country which supply its private label fashion brands
  • Neither Flipkart nor its fashion-focused subsidiary Myntra has launched a new private label fashion brand since 2019
  • Myntra even saw top-level exits from its private labels business earlier this year, with no one currently helming the business
  • The future of Flipkart’s fashion ambitions will likely resemble its massy marketplace roots rather than Myntra’s highly curated experience

When Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon visited India in May, he met with suppliers and partners of Walmart’s Indian businesses at an event in Bengaluru. McMillon reiterated the US retail giant’s commitment to those gathered, saying that its Indian partner and supplier ecosystem would help the company meet its goal of exporting $10 billion of Indian manufactured goods annually by 2027.

Even as McMillon and Walmart International CEO Judith McKenna spoke in Bengaluru, a consortium of 40-odd garment manufacturers in Ludhiana, Punjab was fast losing patience with Walmart-owned e-commerce major Flipkart. These manufacturers supply apparel for Flipkart’s various in-house brands, including licensed brands such as Provogue and Slazenger and private labels such as sportswear-focused Adrenex.

They allege that since July 2022, Flipkart India Pvt Ltd—the platform’s wholesale arm—stopped picking up the apparel it had ordered from them. As a result, the vast quantities of clothing they produced for it began piling up in their warehouses or the warehouses of Shri Bhagwati Logistics, Flipkart’s registered transport agent. And with Flipkart India not taking delivery of these goods, payments for the same also didn’t happen. As per a representative from the consortium, Flipkart India has delayed payments of more than Rs 61 crore to manufacturers in Ludhiana.

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