Are High-End Fashion Brands on Amazon Unjustified?

Back in April on the blog, I mentioned that even brands like Birkenstock, who had publicly denounced Amazon over counterfeit disputes, were revisiting a return to the platform.

Of course, this was to address the shift in consumer attention and their exposure to bricks and mortar retail.

Given some of the stats being released and uncertain consumer sentiment, it’s no wonder other high-end brands are following suit…

High-End Fashion Brands on Amazon?

While luxury fashion items listed on the biggest retail marketplace in the world might not seem like a novel idea, this is a huge step for an industry that was projected to generate 88% of sales offline in 2020.

Pair that with the fact that Bezos has been desperately trying to infiltrate high-end retail for more than 8 years, and their most recent announcement might seem more significant. (Not to mention our more recent argument of how they could be worth $3T by 2025)

“Common Threads”, a partnership between Amazon, Vogue, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America was announced last week.

The launch was framed as an extension of their $500,000 donation to the Common Thread Grant Program aimed at helping cash-strapped designers.

But, as mentioned, this move has been a long time coming and not all that unique.

Tmall Luxury Pavillon, Alibaba’s dedicated site for high-brands has been around since ‘08 and continues to refine the custom shopping experience. 

In 2012 the New York Times also reported Amazon trying to aggressively move into luxury citing higher gross profit. They were staffing their own photographers, make-up artists, and designers shooting 3000 images a day to create a different online experience and lure in more premium brands.

While LVMH CFO said they would not be doing business with Amazon in its current model, it seems that the fear of commoditized fonts and listing design isn’t enough to ultimately deter brands with non-existent offline sales due to coronavirus. 

Simply put, these fashion houses have valuable inventory and Amazon has the logistics and customers to move it.

If you’ve been avoiding a focus on Amazon due to the luxury angle of your brand, now might be a good time to revisit your strategy.