ITC Ltd. has exited the lifestyle retailing business it entered almost two decades back as part of a restructuring.
“Following a strategic review of its business portfolio, the company has exited the lifestyle retailing business,” it said in an exchange filing on Tuesday.
The cigarettes-to-hotels conglomerate was descaling for the last couple of years. In 2019, it sold menswear brand John Players, along with its related trademark and intellectual property, to Reliance Industries Ltd.’s retail unit.
For its premium fashion brand, Wills Lifestyle, ITC was in the process of liquidating some old inventory that was there in a few stores, Chairman and Managing Director Sanjiv Puri had told reporters in a recent call. But Puri did not confirm if the company would fully divest itself of the trademark and copyright of Wills Lifestyle like it did for John Players.
Wills Lifestyle was available in 90 exclusive stores in 40 cities and across more than 500 ‘shop-in-shops’ in leading departmental stores and multi-brand outlets, according to its website.
The ITC chairman had hinted at discontinuation of the loss-making vertical several times in the past.
“ITC has restructured the lifestyle retailing business during the year,” he was quoted as saying in the latest annual report. “At the same time, the product portfolio has been strengthened in alignment with new opportunities and enterprise strengths with a sharper focus on fortifying the core, addressing adjacencies through world-class mother brands, and building categories of the future to power growth.”
Shares of ITC closed 0.68% higher on Tuesday.