Kontoor Brands-owned Lee opened its first Indian flagship store on April 1.
Located in Bengaluru, the 4,200-square-foot store is equipped with smart mirrors that provide consumers personalized recommendations and a Lee Studio that offers a variety of services such as express alterations, badging, rip and repair, embroidery, and lifetime mending for Lee garments.
The store is part of the Lee brand’s continued expansion in the region through a partnership with Ace Turtle, a Bengaluru-based omnichannel retail platform company.
In 2021, Ace Turtle became Kontoor Brands’ licensee for India, resulting in dedicated ecommerce stores for Lee and Wrangler. Nitin Chhabra, Ace Turtle CEO, said the company has been able to leverage its extensive omnichannel technology expertise and unique operating model to significantly scale Lee’s business in India.
“The opening of this flagship store is a strong indicator of the massive potential of this iconic brand and the value it brings to Indian consumers,” Chhabra said. “We aim to expand Lee’s reach across the country and take the brand to millions of Indian consumers via www.lee.in and the chain of physical retail stores being set up across the country.”
“India has been a fast-growing market for Lee over the past few years,” said John Gearing, Kontoor Brands VP and managing director APAC. “We are working to cater to the evolving fashion preferences of young Indian consumers. Our partnership with ace turtle will help position Lee as the preferred denim brand among the youth of this country.”
While Kontoor has experimented in virtual stores, it continues to invest in traditional retail.
In 2022, Lee and Wrangler opened the first co-branded store Berlin, a concept that Kontoor said will be repeated in select retail markets throughout Europe. The store has separate windows and frontages for each brand but is connected by an image-driven design concept that underscores their combined 200-plus years of history.
In 2021, Kontoor relocated its Lee + Wrangler Hometown Studio to its world headquarters in Greensboro, N.C. The store offers feature the brands’ most popular collections and unique experiences like custom tailoring and laser imaging.