Will Amazon’s new luxury online store be the savior of fashion – or Archinemi?

Amazon has launched a new bid in luxury with the rollout of a couture shopping experience that will include established and emerging fashion houses and brands.

The company’s luxury stores launched on Amazon’s mobile app on Tuesday alongside the iconic fashion house, Oscar de la Renta. The designer’s store has a collection of pre-fall and fall / winter 2020 ready-to-wear apparel, handbags, jewelry, accessories and a new perfume. In the coming weeks and seasons, more brands will be launched within Amazon’s luxury stores, the company said in a statement.

“I think about 100 percent of our current customers are on Amazon and a large percentage of those are key members,” Alex de Boulain, CEO of Oscar de la Renta, told Vogue. “For me it is to get more Mindshare with existing customers in addition to acquiring new customers – that’s the name of the game.”

The new store concept is open only to invited shoppers in the US, and allows customers to view items in 360-degree detail. Luxury brands will have more freedom in how they share their value through their store and Amazon’s merchandising tool, which allows them to create and personalize their store’s content. They said they would be able to offer shoppers their own customer services to answer specific questions about their collections and choose how they pack and ship their customers, the company said.


Amazon’s luxury stores come at a time for luxury retail as the pandemic keeps shutting down high-end brick-and-mortar stores and discount retailer Century 21 files for department stores such as Lords and Taylor, Neiman Marcus, and bankruptcy Stores. French luxury goods conglomerate Kering and fashion powerhouse LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton reported 29 and 28 percent declines in revenue during the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus virus.

LVMH told investors in August that the impact of the epidemic on revenue and annual results could not be assessed at such a level without knowing the timetable for return to normal business in the group’s various sectors. “After being badly affected by the crisis of the second quarter, we can expect the recovery to gradually increase in the second half.”

According to Epidemic and an April report by the company, the decline in economic activity due to the epidemic could have a particularly drastic effect on the luxury retail industry, relying on in-store personal service and tactile experience of shopping for high-end pieces. Does. The financial advisory firm estimated that about 80 percent of publicly listed fashion companies in Europe and North America would be in financial trouble if they remained closed for another two months. The firm also predicts that a “large number” of global fashion companies will go bankrupt within the next 12 to 18 months.

About 80 percent of publicly listed fashion companies in Europe and North America may be in financial trouble if they remain closed for two more months.

To attract Amazon’s most recent diving shoppers to buy couture in their marketplace, Alexis Deslava, a retail and e- can provide luxury companies struggling to expand their e-commerce business. A senior Commerce analyst said. Services Company Mintel.

“There was definitely an interest in luxury before the epidemic,” she said. “You have to take a step back because the way consumers are shopping is different. Barneys, Neiman Marcus, Century 21 – Many luxury or traditional brick-and-mortar businesses have not made it easy for a luxury shopper, or someone who wants to shop online for the first time. “

For Oscar de la Renta, the opportunity to cater to the fulfillment and distribution arm of their online business is a major attraction for the fashion house. “The rate of return to our brick-and-mortar stores is low single digits on a bad day and about 30 percent for online sales,” Bolan told Vogue.

“That means I need a lot more inventory, many more people who deal with returns,” he said. “This is a different type of business than we are used to. We need to learn on the fit side how we can get better, and Amazon is very interested in that problem. They have got a team of people who are thinking about it all day long. “

Amazon first broke early in early fashion such as MyHabitSite, a Gilt Groupe competitor that includes flash sales on luxury items, while others such as Stylesap launched with fanfare among shoppers. For years, Amazon’s reputation has been tied to the market’s struggle to fight counterfeit luxury items sold by third-party sellers, which some companies like Nike refuse to sell on the site. Even with the support of Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and rising apparel sales on its marketplace, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has struggled to break into the company in high-end fashion.

JVMH Chief Financial Officer Jean Jacques Gioni told investors during an earnings call in 2016 that the company believes that “LVMH, Amazon’s business, does not fit with the full stop, and it does not fit with our brands . “

But the global head of luxury with the Boston Consulting Group, Sarah Willersdorff, said the epidemic had changed how luxury retailers are thinking about their existence.

“This is the moment where we are encouraging all brands in retail to test and experiment as much as they can,” she said. “Some who can sustain headspace and investment are seeing interesting results and that’s a big difference in luxury,” he said. I think the ability to test and learn and use data is really positive. “

Doug Walsh, a novelist based in Snooklamy, Washington, told NBC News that he was surprised that he received an invitation to Amazon’s new luxury experiment. He said that he and his wife are fond and passengers who spend no more than $ 30 on a shirt, he said. He is a frequent prime shopkeeper, but not a luxury.

“The items look great and I think it’s clear that they are expanding,” he said. “I’d probably buy a watch or something that had an appeal that was appropriate for our lifestyle – but if it ends up being just high-end luxury designers then we’re not the right people for that.”