Retailers and brands become best of frenemies with Amazon
The list of retailers and consumer brands setting up their own storefronts on Amazon.com continues to grow. This is true, as a Reuters report points out, even as these companies remain wary of the e-tail giant’s access to sales data and whether that may inform Amazon’s initiatives to develop competitive private labels or other steps damaging to their businesses.
The news service highlights the experience of Chico’s FAS on Amazon. In January, Chico’s announced it would shutter 250 of its namesake banner’s locations as well as its Soma and White House Black Market stores. At the same time, Chico’s has been growing its business on Amazon to the point that it now has 2,300 items for sale.
Chico’s announced last May that it was beginning to sell a selection of its brand clothing and accessories on Amazon, including its Zenergy athleisure, no-iron shirts and So Slimming pants. Reuters reports that Chico’s current selection on Amazon is six-times what it started with last year. Amazon continues to handle fulfillment while Chico’s maintains control of the marketing, pricing and promotions of its products on the site.
Nike is among the highest profile brands that have begun working with Amazon in an effort to grow consumer direct sales. Like others, the global sportswear brand, however, is not putting all its eggs in Amazon’s basket. Nike is continuing to develop its own site to sell directly to consumers while engaging with other digital platforms, as well.
Amazon is not alone in focusing on building its third-party marketplace. Target recently launched Target+, a curated assortment of products from other brands and third-party sellers that complement its online selection. Walmart has also sought to broaden its digital reach with consumers through strategic acquisitions (Jet.com, Bonobos, Eloquii, ModCloth, Moosejaw, etc.), partnerships with retailers, including Advance Auto Parts and Lord & Taylor, and continued recruitment of third parties to sell on the walmart.com marketplace.
- Selling with the enemy: Why rival retailers embrace Amazon.com – Reuters
- Chico’s decides to join Amazon since it can’t beat it – RetailWire
- What will a Nike/Amazon deal mean for the brand and other retailers? – RetailWire
- Best Buy and Amazon expand their coopetition – RetailWire
- Party City to run pilot with Amazon, ‘the world’s largest and most trafficked mall’ – RetailWire
- Will a curated marketplace strategy be an online game changer for Target? – RetailWire
- Walmart adding plus-size women’s brand to its digital portfolio – RetailWire
- Walmart and Advance Auto Parts join forces online – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are retailers and brands getting over their reluctance to sell on competitive marketplaces such as Amazon, Target and Walmart and, if so, why? What will this mean for the retailing industry over the next decade?