Amazon’s luxury brand platform could launch as soon as next month.
The e-commerce giant’s rumored online concession — which FN’s sister publication WWD reported would feature a dozen international ready-to-wear labels — was originally slated for a spring debut but appears to have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, WWD has learned that the Seattle-based company will introduce the platform as fashion month kicks off in September.
In a statement emailed to FN, an Amazon spokesperson wrote, “We can’t comment on rumors or speculation.”
According to WWD, the American and European brands will operate their own shops on the site “with a business model [more] similar to the Farfetch marketplace.” Amazon, it added, is understood to be handing the labels complete control over the aesthetic and atmosphere of their own virtual stores on its marketplace, as well as decide whether they want to offer discounts and other markdowns.
What’s more, through the partnership with Amazon, these labels are expected to gain access to the online behemoth’s vast warehouse network across the United States. Over the past few years, the company has experimented with and subsequently expanded its delivery options, giving members access to one- and two-day shipping, as well as free shipping on qualifying orders of $25 or more with orders arriving in four to five days for all customers.
The publication reported that the platform will initially launch in the U.S., spearheaded by Amazon Fashion’s head of brand relations and development, Dany Keirouz. Sources that spoke with WWD said that a $100 million marketing campaign is in development and a warehouse is being built in Arizona to accommodate the project. They added that Amazon plans to work with the brands on film and television programs “going forward.”
Although Amazon did not confirm the labels that would join the platform, WWD suggested that they could be “higher-end” than those involved in the Common Threads: Vogue x Amazon Fashion initiative, whose participants included Anna Sui, Derek Lam and Tabitha Simmons.
To help support members of the American fashion community, Vogue and The Council of Fashion Designers of America announced a fundraiser in March. Then, in mid-May, the two joined forces with Amazon on an online digital storefront to help designers connect directly with consumers as they continue to face hardships spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the past few years, Amazon has ramped up its efforts to become a bigger player in the fashion space. In addition to introducing its own in-house labels such as The Fix, the e-tailer introduced Prime Wardrobe in 2018, which allows consumers to try on items before committing to their purchases. In August 2019, it upped the ante with the launch of Personal Shopper, an outfit-in-a-box service similar to Stitch Fix and Nordstrom’s Trunk Club.