How Apparel Brands Can Defend Against Amazon’s Fashion Rise

by MR Magazine Staff

By and large, Amazon is making the biggest moves with mass market apparel brands. As the largest online seller of apparel, its $16.3 billion apparel sales in 2015 exceeded those of the next five competitors — Macy’s, Nordstrom, Gap, Kohl’s and Victoria’s Secret parent L Brands — combined, according to an Internet Retailer report. Consumers purchased more than one million pairs of shoes on Amazon Prime Day in July, and when factoring in Amazon’s seven-brand private-label rollout earlier this year, it’s no wonder Cowen & Co. analysts expect the e-commerce company will dethrone Macy’s as the largest U.S. clothing retailer in 2017. With foot traffic at malls, department stores and specialty shops on a steady downward trajectory in recent years, apparel brands have had to look for new ways to drum up growth. Clothing brands including Gap and Lands’ End have taken the plunge with Amazon in hopes of expanding their customer bases. Their focus is to be where the consumer is, and that’s on Amazon. “The universe of products that falls into the commoditized world is huge,” Sucharita Mulpuru, ShopTalk chief retail strategist and former retail analyst at Forrester Research, told Retail Dive. “With these types of products and the biggest selection of them anywhere, Amazon can easily become the biggest apparel seller in the world.” Yet many high-end luxury labels have resisted partnering with the e-commerce giant, fearing that tradeoffs like discounting and counterfeiting are too great, and instead have looked for ways to bolster their own channels. Read more at Retail Dive.