Another giant on the scene of Fast Fashion.
Amazon decided not only to sell fashion brands, but also to create its own Fashion Private Label. And, in fact, the company has already opened job postions in Seattle for head of marketing and senior brand manager, senior sourcing manager and senior merchandiser.
According to Ed Yruma (KeyBanc Capital’s), Amazon Fashion’s private label is likely to make its debut in early 2017, and the brand will be a priority for the company.
Last October, during the WWD CEO Summit in New York, Jeff Yurcisin ( Amazon Fashion vice president ) alluded to this chance for the first time and he pointed out that consumers are always looking for products that are similar to the ones offered by the big brands. That’s why, since 2009, Amazon started expanding private-label products, by introducing AmazonBasics: electronics and household items such as cables and keyboards, dinner plates or backpacks. As Sonya Brown (Norwest Venture Partners general partner) explains, the choice of basic items is justified by the fact that they’re less brand-driven, and “they’re more like a pair of white leggings”.
We also have to consider that Amazon sponsored the Met Gala at the Costume Institute in 2012, hired Caroline Palmer (Vogue online editor) as director of editorial and social, and choose Chiara Ferragni (fashion blogger) as its European ambassador.
In addition, under the Fashion presidency of Cathy Beaudoin, fashion has become one of the fastest growing businesses and the company is scooping up market share in this sector. In fact, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Amazon opened a 40,000-square-foot photo studio to “improve fashion imagery on the site”.
So, what are the main motivations for Amazon to create its own fashion brand?
Of course, they’re many: it can immediatley read consumer trends by using its data-collection capabilities and offer products that match these trends; it can try to fill the gaps in terms of not-supplied merchandise by the leading brands; focus on the see-now, buy-now and wear-now.
Which are the risks, instead?
When it comes to fashion, what is important is the product, not just the low price or convenience of it. So, it is more likely that Amazon, even if it has the right product, will be widely widespread over the more popular priced department and store chains, instead of impact the luxury channel.
Who are the potential beneficiaries of the private-label apparel?
First of all, Amazon Prime customers, who get certain services for a flat fee (montlhy or annual). In this regard, Craig Johnson (Customer Growth Partners president) states that what is important for Amazon is high service and right price, even if the company is not known for fashion with capital “F”. The success of this opportunity relies on the delivery of what is hot and quick, especially to younger shoppers that can appreciate the service that Amazon offers.
So, this big new entry in the Fast Fashion sector will represent an important challenge for all the other brands already competing in this segment, not just in terms of retailing, but also in terms of e-commerce efforts and strategies.
Will Amazon reshape the fashion landscape as it did with books?