FASHIONTRIBES 5 MIN. PODCAST. Endless Fashion Awaits at Amazon.com’s New Online Shoe & Accessories Boutique. FASHIONTRIBES FASHION BLOG & PODCAST
With ComScore Media Metrix reporting an increase in online holiday sales of 26 percent over the previous year, and $100 billion projected in online sales (not including travel), it’s no surprise that companies are looking for ways to cash in – especially when estimated figures include an accessories market worth $2.25 billion, and a $2.3 billion footwear market. Amazon.com recently launched Endless.com, stocked with more than 250 brands of 15,000 styles of shoes priced under $100 & accessories, such as Adidas, Kenneth Cole, Aerosoles, Jessica Simpson, Geox, Hush Puppies, Easy Spirit, Steve Madden, Enzo Angiolini, Birkenstock, farylrobin, BCBG Max Azria, Anne Klein New York, Rockport and Fila. Similar to competitors like Zappos, Gap's PiperLime and Nordstrom, they are offering free overnight delivery, 24-hour-a-day telephone customer service, and free returns for up to a year on anything unworn – via free return shipping, of course.
While Amazon has already been selling fashion online since 2002 (they launched in 1995), and acquired fashion retailer Shopbop.com in 2006, Endless.com marks the first time they are opening a store under a separate name. According to industry insiders, a separate operation was needed to compete effectively with the likes of Zappos and their projected $600 million in sales (for 2006) – and 500 brands in 90,000 styles."[Shopping] behavior often differs by category and type of shopper," Paul Keung, a financial analyst with CIBC World Markets bank recently told WWD. "I don't think one size fits all."
Instead of simply using the familiar Amazon look – a template designed to sell fiction rather than frocks – Endless.com has its own fashion’y look, and could generate over $8 billion in additional value for Amazon, far above the hundreds of millions in annual sales their accessories bring in at present. According to Patti Freeman Evans, a retail analyst for JupiterResearch, these sunny projections are actually plausible. "Apparel and accessories will be the largest online category, overtaking computers in a couple of years." By way of comparison, 45 percent of computers are currently sold online, while only 5 percent of apparel is. "What we've been seeing and what these companies are finding is, there's still growth potential in online sales. I think there's room still online for lots of competition, which is clearly what's beginning to happen, at least in the footwear industry. The business will also get more competitive online as the online community continues to mature." (via WWD)
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- Lesley Scott
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