Amazon is well known for trying its hand at difficult products in crowded marketplaces, like smartphones and speakers. Now the online retailer may soon add clothing to the list, according to a report from BuzzFeed. Onstage at the WWD Apparel and Retail CEO Summit today, Amazon Fashion's vice president of clothing Jeff Yurcisin said the company is considering producing its own clothing lines to to fill "gaps" in the marketplace.
"For Amazon, we know our customers love brands, many of the brands in this room…and that’s where the lion’s share of our business comes from," he said. "When we see gaps — when certain brands have actually decided for their own reasons not to sell with us — our customer still wants a product like that."
An Amazon-produced pair of jeans under a different name
Amazon Fashion is the company's division dedicated to courting big-name clothing lines to sell on the e-commerce site, such as Calvin Klein and Levi’s. Yet some retailers and clothing manufacturers have been reluctant to work with Amazon due to its reputation for low margins and aggressive cost cutting. If a brand doesn't want to sell on Amazon, the company appears ready to sell its own version of their product ands sell it under a different name. This approach, known as private labeling, generally allows for higher profit margins.
Still, Amazon doesn't want to alienate its partners. Yurcisin tried to reassure the executives at the summit that its Fashion division, which draws around 40 million US customers a year, follows standard trends in the retail industry. "We work just like any other retailer — we buy at full price, try super-hard to sell at full-price," he said.