Amazon Struts Its Fashion Sense, Challenging Traditional Stores

by MR Magazine Staff Inc. has crushed rivals by offering cut-rate prices on everything from books and electronics to diapers. But to attract fashion brands, it has employed a new strategy: promising full price. With that pledge, the Internet retailer is making headway attracting a crowd that for years had rebuffed its approaches. Dozens of brands now sell directly to Amazon, including department store stalwarts such as Nicole Miller, Calvin Klein, Kate Spade, Lacoste and Levi Strauss. “Amazon understands fashion is different from its core business,” said Joëlle Grünberg, the North American chief executive of Lacoste, which started selling select items on Amazon last year. “They discount when products aren’t selling, but they don’t mark down at crazy rates.” Fashion has been one of the last e-commerce holdouts because the fit and feel of clothing is important to shoppers. Only 15% of apparel was purchased online last year, compared with 65% of computers, according to Forrester Research Inc. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.