Amazon is chasing down several athletic-apparel suppliers for making private-label sportswear. As per reports received from New York and Hong Kong, and the personnel related to the matter, the company is giving out a ‘game on’ to the already established leaders of the concerned industry.
A Taiwanese vendor, Makalot Industrial Co., has started making apparel for Amazon, according to a person with knowledge on the tie-up. Another Taiwanese supplier, Eclat Textile Co., is providing support to the same as well, which was noted first by analyst Silvia Chiu of SinoPac Securities.
Further reports from the involved people say that long-term contract signings are yet to be processed. This far, the manufacturers are into producing products of small amounts for sufficing trial in regards to Amazon. The people involved with this matter requested not to be identified, as evolving promotions are not done yet.
Previously, Amazon was into private-label fashion, providing office-clothing, dresses, and jackets, under the names Paris Sunday and Goodthreads. Now, the recent initiative will jolt the market competition further, sending the ball to the court of the leading athletic brands.
More specifically, Makalot produces clothing for Uniqlo, Gap Inc., and Kohl’s Corp. Whereas, Eclat does the same for Under Armour, Lululemon Athletica, and Nike.
As for a market turnover, shares of Lululemon, Under Armour, and even Nike, went down; after Bloomberg’s report on Amazon’s new initiative on Friday. Well, Amazon is so far remaining unavailable for comment.
In the market turmoil, the leading brands are on the ‘go’ to recover their established positions. On the other hand, Amazon isn’t sitting on its duck either. It is on the course of hiring staffs that are equipped with knowledge in private-label athletic apparels. For instance, this year January saw Kirsten K. Harris joining as senior brand manager for Amazon active apparel.
Kirsten previously worked as a product development lead for Nordstrom Inc.’s activewear brand for women, Zella. Before Zella, she played similar roles for Nike and Eddie Bauer. She didn't comment on her new venture to request in Linkedin
On a conclusive note, Amazon went on to develop brands of its own for filling up gaps in its inventory. The likes of North Eleven and Scout + Ro are the brands of the company.
This is another message conveyed by Amazon to the brands who are reluctant in selling full inventories to the company. In case the shoppers can’t find products of these brands on the respective sites, Amazon goes on to make substitutes and becomes competitors.
Eclat’s Chiu said on company partnerships that reflect on shifting demands of customers – “Online apparel sales accounted for 19 percent of all apparel sales in 2016, up from 11 percent in 2011.”
Eclat is presently expecting new clients to contribute for 12% of 2018 sales. Chiu added that this year there is a small contribution, but the potential for the future is quite expansive.