Will Amazon become the go-to place to buy face masks?
Face masks have become a necessary part of daily living as evidence has mounted showing their efficacy in helping to control the spread of the novel coronavirus. In the U.K., where a nationwide mask mandate is now in effect, Amazon.com has launched an online shop to help customers get masks that suit their safety needs and sense of style.
The Face Mask Store, recently launched on Amazon.co.uk, allows customers to search for masks broken out into four categories: reusable cloth, general use disposable, certified medical and PPE/medical grade respirators. Customers can also search by pack size and, for some masks, customers can choose from an array of colors and designs.
Other retailers have demonstrated that there’s a lot of potential in the pandemic-era mask market, online and offline.
Etsy, for instance, is looking like a left-field pandemic success story thanks to mask sales, according to CNBC. While the publicly-traded crafting company’s shares fell by half at the onset of the pandemic, the stock price tripled when it became clear crafters were using the site to sell their homemade masks and customers were flocking to buy them.
Target is another retailer that has drawn attention by launching a line of affordable masks, online and in-store, under its Cat & Jack private label for kids and under its Universal Thread private label for adults.
Amazon is notoriously quiet about what apparel brands on its site fall under its umbrella of private label products, but Target’s success releasing masks under its private labels demonstrates that Amazon could have success with own-brands.
There were a few significant mask-related developments last week throughout Europe as reported by The Washington Post. France mandated face coverings within all enclosed spaces and the U.K. began enforcing mandatory masks within all shops and supermarkets. Despite a growing body of evidence that the use of masks can significantly slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, the U.S. government under President Donald Trump has remained resistant to a mask mandate on the national level.
- The Face Mask Store – Amazon.co.uk
- Amazon launches The Face Mask Store: find your face covering in no time – t3
- Etsy’s stock jumps to record, tripling in three months on surge in face mask sales – CNBC
- Target is selling kids and adult face masks for just $2 – RTV6 Indianapolis
- Unlike the United States, more and more countries are making masks mandatory – The Washington Post
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Amazon have success with this online store, and should it launch the same service in the U.S.? Do you see Amazon quietly launching private label masks as it has in other areas of apparel, and how might that affect its competition?