Over the years, Amazon has challenged the traditional brick-and-mortar model, redefined the books landscape, and gone all-in with original programming. Now, the retail giant is foraying headfirst into fashion.
Amazon has released 1,800 products, ranging from women’s clothing and bags to children’s clothing to men’s tailored apparel, spanning over seven private labels.
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Amazon sees its fashion arm playing a similar role to Amazon Basics, where it sells home-brand electronics. Through these new labels, the company will supply products that third-party sellers are not providing to Amazon’s 300 million customers.
Starting with the acquisition of online clothing retailer Shopbop in 2006, Amazon has been taking smaller fashion ventures under its wing. It went on to scoop up My Habit and East Dance too. In an attempt to further its presence in the world of fashion, Amazon also sponsored the New York Men’s Fashion Week for the first time last year.
Now, the retailer is pushing the envelope by ramping up the hiring for its private label team. The company is allegedly in talks to hire Frances Russell, former Marks and Spencer womenswear boss. The intention to hire managers with “strong product sensibility in both basic and fast-fashion segments, and [the] ability to identify and capitalize on current trends” aligns perfectly with the launch of the private labels.
My 2 cents:
Amazon’s embracing its inner retailer in a very interesting move for the e-commerce sphere in general. Own brands have been the key to success in the bricks and mortar space for its high return, low risk exposure and positive supplier development experience facets. Allied to Amazon’s margin slashing potential, this is a very interesting trend and one that could take for more product categories in the future and across multiple e-commerce platforms in general.