Mid-priced and upscale department stores can breathe a sigh of relief as Amazon has not yet become a hotbed for contemporary fashion.

Using a proprietary benchmarking tool, L2 researchers were able to track the winning and losing fashion brands on Amazon in Q4. Key findings can be found in this report, but an important takeaway is that Amazon’s fashion categories continue to be driven by inexpensive basics such as tees and underwear, even during the holiday season.

Amazon performance

While L2 did see a surge in online web traffic to Amazon during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, holiday shoppers were not necessarily driven to more expensive items. The average price of Best Sellers in Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry increased just 2.3% quarter-over-quarter in Q4 to $34.50.

The lack of mid-priced fashion items in Amazon’s Best Seller rankings is exacerbated by the absence of mid-market and contemporary brands on the platform. Only 35% of brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Fashion officially distribute on Amazon or its subsidiaries East Dane, Zappos, and Shopbop. Tory Burch and Ralph Lauren continue to hold out from officially distributing on Amazon. Even brands that selectively distribute on the platform, such as Michael Kors, which sells women’s watches, are finding little incentive to expand their higher-end assortment.

Amazon performance

In the absence of official distribution, private label offerings have attempted to fill the white space. L2 has identified 41 Amazon private label brands, 29 of which operate in the apparel space, including categories such as Women’s Shoes, Women’s Outerwear, and Men’s Activewear. Contemporary brands should keep an eye on the success of Amazon’s private fashion brands, as it can indicate demand for such merchandise on the marketplace.

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