Amazon’s Next Big Adventure? Selling Designer Clothing
Amazon is ready to take the fashion world by storm and to attract high end designers and fashion shopping customers the company is going to Amazon type extremes, the company already employs three women with size 8 shoe feet to post web reviews while patent-pending technology is used to shoot more than 3,000 clothing images each day.
Amazon is already a big seller in the clothing market where it loses hundreds of millions of dollars each year in free shipping while providing free returns to keep shoppers returning to the website.
Speaking about the company’s new approach to high fashion CEO Jeff Bezos tells the New York Times:
“”It’s Day 1 in the category,” Though characteristically tight-lipped on bottom-line details, Mr. Bezos said the company was making a “significant” investment in fashion to convince top brands that it wanted to work with them, not against them.”
Amazon’s approach is to bring aboard contemporary and high-end brands including Michael Kors, Vivienne Westwood, Jack Spade and others. However unlike its publishing business and tablet devices Amazon won’t push brick-and-mortar stores out of business by undercutting costs because high-end designers will not allow the company to undercut their own pricing strategies which in turn would undervalue the designers work.
Unlike the company’s MyHabit website which offers flash-sales the company’s new model will focus more on traditional retail sales with new technologies added into the mix to make high-fashion offerings look more attractive to online shoppers.
One thing is for certain, with $5.7 billion cash on hand Amazon definitely has the means to woo potential fashion designers by placing large orders while populating the website with prime display space for their new high-fashion partners.
In an attempt to dominate the fashion industry in general Amazon has made some big buys including its $1 billion purchase of Zappos.com in 2009 and the launch of shoe site Endless.com and MyHabit.
The biggest problem for Amazon in the past has been the sites commodity driven look which the company hopes to fix by bringing on high-end photographers and new photography technology that will appeal to the masses. In some cases models even show off the designers clothing shortly after the images and video are captured, adding an interactive element to the company’s offerings.
In the meantime Amazon still has a long way to go because it can consider itself a successful seller of high fashion clothing.