Amazon into Apparels



Authors: Pradip Ranjan Sinha,
Associate Consultant,
ICMR (IBS Center for Management Research).

The secret of successful retailing is to provide what customers want. Customers might need a lot of things. They need a large collection of good quality merchandise at the lowest possible price, guaranteed satisfaction for every purchase, friendly and quick service and most importantly a pleasant shopping experience. Amazon hopes to cash in on these strengths through its apparel diversification.

The king of online sales of books, CDs, DVDs, videos and many other items now wants to be the place to shop for jeans, shirts, shoes and sweaters. Amazon has come up with an apparel and accessory store in November 2002 in partnership with more than a dozen branded companies, like Reebok, Adidas, Gap, Nordstrom, Old Navy, Dockers, Hugo Boss, Target, Tommy Hilfiger. In addition to these, it has also tied up with many other leading apparel companies to offer more than 400 popular brands through its latest venture. But, is Amazon trying to spread itself too thin?

Business for the Times

The move of Amazon into apparels came at a time of increasingly strong growth for online apparel, one of the biggest upcoming retail categories in e-commerce with expected sales of US $5.2 bn this year up from $4.4 bn last year. With the apparel store in Amazon's fold, customers can now shop the Amazon way i.e., in one convenient place with easy-to-use shopping cart for well-known apparels, shoes and accessory's including kids and baby apparels.

Launched in the holiday season of 2002, the Amazon's apparel store provides the customer with all the necessary tools and helpful information, such as customer review and rankings, similarities and lots more, giving them the benefit of the Amazon experience. The company is doing everything to make it click with the customers. It has also come out with some introductory offers and promotional certificates to attract customers.

The company made an all out effort to educate the customer on its apparel store and as a result customers have come to expect, such typical Amazon information such as customer reviews and rankings and more. Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of, in a press release after the launch of the apparel and accessory store said, "This is now the easiest way for's tens of millions of visitors every month to find and buy apparel and accessories from over 400 millions brands." He also emphasized by saying that "Our goal is to provide complete apparel selection and offer it the Amazon way with easy navigation single shopping cart, your ordering and payment information already on file and lots of helpful information."

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