Private brand apparel could drive Amazon’s department store

The retailer’s store brand clothing and own brand tech products could lead the Amazon department store, as would technology innovations in-store, per an article in the Wall Street Journal.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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As suspected, Amazon’s possible department store format would focus on its large store brand apparel offerings, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal, who first reported about Amazon’s latest potential brick-and-mortar foray.

The article also said Amazon would leverage technology inside the stores, as it does with all of its physical retail locations, providing dressing rooms that pair with mobile technology, for example. Shoppers could connect with associates to have new sizes delivered, but technology such as virtual try-on mirrors have been around in department stores, too. And Amazon has tested previous technologies such as getting fashion advice through its Echo device at home and ordering a perfectly sized shirt through a virtual body double with its Made For You brand.

Other Amazon physical stores leverage its “Just Walk Out” cashierless technology, enabling shoppers to sync up through the mobile app with a location by scanning their way in as they enter and then smart shelves monitor what they buy and no checkout is needed. The retailer’s looked at going beyond the phone as well and scanning into a Whole Foods location with the palm of a hand, and its Amazon Fresh locations leverage the smart cart Dash Cart, so the department store format could include a range of activations. 

The article stated the stores would showcase the breadth of Amazon’s apparel, too. Within beauty and apparel, the retailer carries hundreds of products under the labels: Amazon Basics, Amazon Essentials, Amazon Made For You, Spotted Zebra, Solimo and many more. It also has partnered with exclusive designers online. Coresight Research counted 112 of Amazon’s 149 private brands in clothing, leading all categories.

The Amazon department store format would be around 30,000 square feet, much smaller than a traditional department store at 100,000 square feet, perhaps hinting at it mostly focusing on apparel and its technology goods unlike venturing deep into hardware, appliances and home goods categories.

Read the Wall Street Journal article here.