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U.S. Brand Skechers Sues Flipkart, 4 Sellers Over Fake Footwear

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United States-based footwear brand Skechers has sued Flipkart, India’s largest ecommerce company, and four sellers on its platform for allegedly selling fake products. The American brand is planning to conduct more raids soon, according to media reports.

Skechers conducted raids at seven warehouses in Delhi and Ahmedabad, where merchandise by sellers Retail Net, Tech Connect, Unichem Logistics and Marco Wagon was stored, the Economic Times reported. The raid was conducted after seeking permission from court-appointed local commissioners.

In response to the petition submitted to Delhi High Court, Flipkart told the publication: “Flipkart is an online marketplace that helps sellers connect with customers across the country. We only act as an intermediary. We conduct our business with the highest standards of integrity and are fully compliant with all rules of the land. We cannot comment on the current issue as it is sub judice.”

Skechers says it found more than 15,000 pairs of fake shoes that were going to be sold as original products. A spokesperson of the company said it would take necessary steps to protect the brand name, safeguard copyright and intellectual property.

While Flipkart says it maintains necessary checks through its “Flipkart Assured” model, it has not been able to completely root out the problem due to the sheer number of the sellers, which are more than a lakh. Flipkart has also blacklisted some sellers over the same issue.

The problem with fake merchandise has been on the rise with the burgeoning of ecommerce in the country.

Skechers isn’t the only brand that has conducted raids to unveil fake product sellers. Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Calvin Klein, Levi’s and Superdry have earlier confiscated fake products through court-aided raids on warehouses in India.

Skechers’ Future Plans

Skechers also intends to become a Rs 1,500 crore brand in India in the next three years. By the end of 2017, it expects to increase its revenue to Rs 500 crore.

“By end of 2020 or early 2021, we should have anywhere between 400-500 stores operational in India. At the moment we have 113 stores operation. Most of the stores will come up in tier II cities,” Rahul Vira, CEO of Skechers South Asia, told ETRetail. At present the company operates around 25 per cent stores in smaller towns of the country, he added.