Just in case you were in any doubt as to Amazon’s intentions for its apparel business, the e-commerce giant will be very much present at London Fashion Week next month. The company is partnering with streetwear brand Nicopanda on a ‘see now, buy now’ six-piece unisex collection.
“I am excited to have joined forces with Amazon Fashion as it is synonymous with fast delivery and great selection, a perfect choice for this exclusive capsule collection,” says Nicola Formichetti, Creative Director of Nicopanda.
For the duration of Fashion Week, Amazon Prime members in London will be able to get their hands on the collection within just 60 minutes. But far from being an isolated bid to nab Fashion Week sales, the Nicopanda partnership is just one example of how Amazon is building its apparel business in Europe; the company has added more than 350 new fashion brands to its online catalogue over the last year.
“In the past, trendy, ‘cool’ brands did not have to go to such lengths to increase customer engagement,” Elaine Kwon, former Vendor Manager of Amazon Fashion’s luxury division and Founder of e-commerce consulting firm Kwontified, tells Glossy. “However, we are now continuously developing a new norm where convenience, quality and style are key. These partnerships are a great way to give brands like Nicola Formichetti a way to connect with more consumers more easily, engaging Amazon’s European customer base and global renown.”
The next stop on Amazon’s quest to take over the global fashion industry will be clothing subscription boxes, similar to Stitch Fix, Trunk Club or Warby Parker. The service, which the company is calling Prime Wardrobe, is currently still in beta, but is expected to include products from brands like Adidas and Calvin Klein as well as Amazon’s only private label offering. Amazon describes Prime Wardrobe as “a new service that brings the fitting room to you, so you can try the latest styles and find your perfect fit before you buy.”
When it officially launches, Prime Wardrobe will become a standard feature for all Prime members, allowing them to order clothes and shoes for free. They can then return any items they don’t want, and pay for the ones they choose to keep at a discounted rate.
“We have entered a new world of retail where the traditional leaders are faced with unconventional channel competition, and subscription services are the newest player,” says Marshal Cohen, an analyst with NPD Group. “Consumers are more critical about the purchases they make today and no longer purchase just for the sake of purchasing. The personalized approach of subscription services complements the shift toward more prioritized spending.”
Amazon.com was one of the top ten clothing retailers of 2016. In the first 23 weeks of 2017, Amazon’s apparel sales came to $1.45 billion, up 15 per cent from last year. And while the fashion market is traditionally female-led, according to One Click Retail three of Amazon’s top five clothing categories are male; men’s trousers accounted for $375 million in sales in 2016.
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