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Report: Amazon May Launch Own Clothing Line; Will Still Work With Upscale Fashion Labels

Nov 03, 2015 11:43 AM EST | By Jason Fonbuena
Amazon Fashion

Amazon is looking to expand its business and one of the ways it will do so is, reportedly, by launching its own clothing line.

The online retail giant is never shy of putting its brand on different products such as the Kindle tablet, a smartphone and a set-top box. Now, it seems it will try its luck on apparel.

"From 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," Amazon Fashion VP of clothing Jeff Yurcisin said at the WWD Apparel and Retail CEO Summit, as quoted by BuzzFeed News.

"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."

As The Verge pointed out Amazon Fashion is the company's arm that concentrates on encouraging upscale brands, such as Calvin Klein and Levi's, to sell on their website.

But as the New York Times reported back in July, "many are concerned about tying their brands to a website that is far more a utility than a boutique."

In that case, Amazon is willing to get into private labelling for its clothing line - a practice where it would sell its own version of their product under a different name.

And that can be highly profitable, according to Quartz. Fashion retailer Revolve's co-founder and co-CEO Mike Karanikolas reportedly said that their mid-tier labels is worth more than $400 million in annual sales, with a 600 percent year-over-year growth.

"Our number-one selling brand, our number-two selling brand, and our number-six or number-seven selling brand are the first three apparel brands that we launched and designed ourself," he told the website.

Even with a possible push for its own clothing line, Amazon won't be dropping its partners. Yurcisin assured execs attending the summit that his division follows standards in the retail industry.

"We work just like any other retailer - we buy at full price, try super-hard to sell at full-price... then we follow a traditional markdown cadence," he said.

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