Amazon is launching an in-person retail format later this year. The Amazon Style Store will blend e-commerce and in-person retail experience – and grow awareness of their private label and Amazon-exclusive brands.
The store will open at The Americana at Brand in Glendale, California. QR Codes will be attached to apparel, linking to online purchase portals and product information. The retail concept will range top-selling items from Amazon, focusing on trending apparel (the retail giant has a wealth of data to draw on) and Amazon’s private-label apparel line. Prices will range from $10-400, appealing to a broad demographic of apparel shoppers.
The destination seems a concession from Amazon that they are yet to attract the luxury consumer. Syama Meagher, CEO of Scaling Retail, told Glossy: “They’re not necessarily looking at a higher-end, the more affluent luxury consumer.”
Instead, the physical concept will allow Amazon vendors to collect data and experiment with consumers in a live environment while allowing Amazon to push their mass-market brands in one place.
Amazon’s “shop by influencer” section may come to life in this environment. Amazon collates clothing and styles under influencer endorsements, allowing fans to purchase styles recommended by their favourites easily. The store may become a destination for consumers to check-out major social media-driven apparel launches IRL before investing. It will also allow Amazon to introduce their Amazon private-label items, allowing a sceptical would-be consumer to try them on and assess quality in person.
With the perception of Amazon as a mass, multi-national commodity player, convincing customers of the quality or fashion-forwardness of their garments will be a challenge. Increasingly consumers are switching to environmentally sound micro-labels, with the dominant trends in fashion being identified by Bcome.biz’s The State of Fashion 2022 Report as domestic brands and “circular textiles.” The report stated: “To maintain a competitive advantage, brands may require a direct investment in recycling facilities.” The latter trend for conscious consumerism and environmentally friendly circular textiles will pose a challenge for Amazon. The organisation has come under fire for their staggering carbon footprint, promotion of overconsumption and environmentally unsound business practices.
While the success of Amazon’s venture is yet to be seen, the launch is a continuation of the trend for bricks and mortar retail experiences that blend virtual and in-person shopping experiences.