Amazon is considering manufacturing its own private label line of clothing, an executive at the WWD Apparel and Retail CEO Summit said, according to Buzzfeed News.
The retailer has been building its Amazon Fashion and Shopbop units, even sponsoring the first New York Fashion Week for Men, but has run into some resistance from apparel companies unwilling to bow to Amazon’s pricing or cede control of their brands to its data-driven, basic-style site.
The company has been boosting the number of private-label household supplies like phone chargers and baby wipes, but Amazon is already a major destination for such products.
While brands were once leery of Amazon’s low-price fixation, a quick spin through its website reveals that, when it comes to higher-end apparel, footwear, or handbags, the company is hardly reticent to display some fairly steep price tags.
And according to a report this year from research firm Cowen and Company, Amazon could leap-frog over Macy’s in apparel sales to become number one in that category in the next couple of years.
Yet even without price an issue, many brands may remain cautious of selling on Amazon. The site, while its machine-learning suggestions based on browsing or purchase are stellar and its research and purchasing processes are unmatched, has a work-a-day feel that some higher-end brands may find a bit unalluring.
Still, there are actually so many brands selling on Amazon already that it’s likely just a matter of time before even companies once hesitant about the idea also jump on board.
In the meantime, shoppers and brands may find that Amazon itself a one of the labels in the mix.
“For Amazon, we know our customers love brands, many of the brands in this room…and that’s where the lion’s share of our business comes from,” Jeff Yurcisin, VP of clothing at Amazon Fashion and CEO of Amazon’s Shopbop unit, said Tuesday at the WWD Apparel and Retail CEO Summit. “When we see gaps, when certain brands have actually decided for their own reasons not to sell with us, our customer still wants a product like that.”