This Amazon News Could Disrupt the Apparel Industry
While Amazon made headlines worldwide when it announced that it purchased Whole Foods for a whopping $13.7 billion, the latest Amazon news will be a huge shakeup to the apparel industry.
As we already know, Amazon has been taking steps to become the next dominating force in the apparel industry, from its new athleisure line to its fast customized apparel. Now, the e-commerce giant is going after department stories with its new Prime Wardrobe service.
According to Business Insider, Prime Wardrobe will enable customers to try on clothing before they buy it—aka one of the remaining advantages of shopping in-store versus online. Basically, customers can order multiple items at a time and decide which they want to keep before sending the clothing back. If the shoppers keep at least three items, they get 10 percent off their total purchase. Five items is 20 percent off the purchase. Shipping is free, and customers can leave returns by their doors instead of having to visit a post office.
This is a huge move for Amazon, and it will cause even more problems for brick-and-mortar retail stores going forward. Now consumers can enjoy the perks of online shopping with the convenience of easy returns, making in-store shopping experiences less valuable.
Plus, the company is already on the heels of Macy's, and is expected to surpass Macy's sales this year to become the biggest apparel seller in the U.S. This move can only improve its market share.
Cowen & Co. also released statistics that showed Amazon's clothing and accessory sales are expected to grow 30 percent next year to $28 billion, and that was before this announcement.
While it's hard to read this news from a department store's standpoint and not panic, I think there will always be consumers that prefer shopping in stores. I don't think this move will make in-store shopping obsolete, but apparel stores should start brainstorming about how to edge out Amazon in terms of customer service experiences. More in-store events enticing consumers would be a great way to establish connections and keep Amazon boxed out.
What do you think of Amazon's news? Let us know in the comments section.