Amazon debuts Find own-label fashion offer in UK
Amazon has soft-launched a new own-label fashion offer in the UK under the Find name. The extensive offer is value priced and features both women’s and menswear.
The debut of the new label has both advantages and disadvantages for Amazon’s ambitions in the fashion field, according to an analyst from Kantar Worldpanel. Glen Tooke, Kantar’s insight director, said that the e-tailer needs to clearly differentiate its new line if it is to succeed and avoid alienating brands that sell on its platform.
The new Find line is priced from around £9 up to £64 and features core volume pieces such as tees, men’s formal shoes and moccasins, shirt dresses, and skinny and kick-flare jeans, as well trend-driven items. These include cold-shoulder tops, peplum tops, lace tees, frill detail dresses and even a Balenciaga-inspired draped silver jersey dress, priced at £43.
On the website the company describes these items as “key pieces every season that give your wardrobe a lift, as well as hardworking modern basics. It is about the mix – the fashion mix and the life mix too.”
Like most major Amazon launches that drive more people to sign up for the company’s Prime service, the new label is available only for Prime members.
Kantar’s Tooke, said of the launch: “Amazon needs to ask itself what makes it different. In a declining market, why should shoppers move their money to its brand? Yes, it has speedy delivery and plenty of existing users, but so do hundreds of other retailers.”
One thing it does have is a clutch of senior names working on the new fashion offer that it has lured from top high street chains, including M&S, Primark and Debenhams. It also has an experienced team of trend specialists feeding trend information through to its buying and product development teams. Along with its giant studio space in London’s Shoreditch and its unveiling this week of the new Echo Look virtual stylist device, it underscores just how serious the company is about growing in the fashion space.
But Tooke said that Amazon needs to ensure that the new Find label does not disappear among the massive fashion offer already available on the site. “Being part of an online ‘department store’ like Amazon is beneficial to sales but too much choice can be a bad thing,” he said. “Search ‘black dress’ on Amazon and you generate over 80,000 results. Find can’t be allowed to get lost among the other brands and second-hand goods on the website, so its mircosite is a good place to start. At the same time, Amazon can’t compromise existing relationships – if its goods are priced too low and are undercutting the competition, the company may see brands limit what stock they sell via its platform.”
Amazon is clearly not concerned that it will upset its relationships with its existing brands and having not yet broken into the top 20 of fashion retailers in the UK, it is pursuing a variety of pathways to fast growth. It has seen how pureplay e-tailers such as Asos have been able to combine an own label offer with branded fashion and enjoy power growth as a result.
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