Ducati fans in India have more than bikes to look forward to — the Italian motorcycle maker is bringing its apparel line to the country in an exclusive licensing deal with ecommerce giant Flipkart, two people aware of the development said. “Flipkart has signed a licencee deal with Ducati that allows them to manufacture Ducati’s T-shirts, shirts, jeans and its entire apparel line,” said one of the persons cited earlier. Ducati, which had launched its superbikes in the country some years ago, also sells jackets, Tshirts, caps and motorsports gear.
Among Ducati’s Indian clients are cricketer MS Dhoni and Vikram Oberoi, Joint Managing Director of the Oberoi Group of Hotels, who earlier this month bought a limited edition Ducati Superleggera 1299 superbike for Rs. 1.1 cr. “There is a latent demand for such motorbikes. There are thousands of people in India who wanted these motorcycles,” said Harminder Sahni, Founder of Retail Consultancy firm Wazir Advisors.
“However, the demand for their apparels is very limited here. It is a very limited market even globally.” In India, Flipkart’s rival Amazon sells various Ducati-branded clothing products on its website. There are also markets where people sell knock-offs of popular brands, including Ducati. In 2011, US-based superbike company Harley-Davidson had dragged Big Bazaar to Delhi High Court alleging trademark violation and in a bid to restrain the hypermarket chain from selling shirts and T-shirts with the images and trademarks of the iconic motorcycle’s brands. The case was closed in an out-of court settlement when Kishore Biyani’s Future Group agreed to stop selling products with pictures of Harley-Davidson and its trademarks, including Bar and its Shield logo, on Tshirts. Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce company is planning to enter the brick-and-mortar space with Giordano-branded outlets, joining a clutch of firms such as Myntra and Urban Ladder to shore up growth.