It’s been less than a week since Amazon disrupted the grocery industry after announcing its plans to acquire Whole Foods for £10.7bn. And the ecommerce giant is on the front foot once again, unveiling concrete plans for its new fashion retail business.
Amazon’s fashion arm says it is currently testing Prime Wardrobe, a subscription-based box service currently in beta stage ahead of a launch later this year, where it will then be embedded into all Prime members’ memberships.
The service, which works a lot like Trunk Club, allows consumers to order items such as shoes and clothes with no upfront charge. This means they will only pay for what they decide to keep and be given a week to make this decision.
Should a customer keep five or more items, they will receive a 20% discount. Keeping four items, meanwhile, will result in a 10% discount to use anywhere across Amazon’s website. Prime Wardrobe shipments will come in a resealable box with a prepaid label to make the return process less of a hassle for shoppers.
Although Amazon will provide Wardrobe with private label clothing – something that could be a challenge given its grounding in electronics and lack of experience or reputation as a clothing label – it will also include partner brands such as Adidas, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss and Levi’s.
An Amazon spokesman says: “Prime Wardrobe is a new service that brings the fitting room to you, so you can try the latest styles and find your perfect fit before you buy.”
In the UK, the likes of Asos have a dominant grip on the fashion ecommerce market. One of Asos’s most popular features is its flexibility in letting shoppers return unwanted clothing. But with Prime Wardrobe’s flexible returns and premium partner brands, Asos might just be looking over its shoulder.
Amazon is becoming increasingly ubiquitous. It is also expanding its ‘Dash’ one-click ordering service to more brands, including Heineken and Tassimo. And having recently made moves into cars, groceries, Hollywood, digital advertising and now fashion, bets are on for which industry Amazon will try to disrupt next.