Above is a timeline of Amazon’s initiatives to crack the fashion industry. Except for the acquisition of MyHabit, Zappos, and Shopbop, most have been failures as just 16% of fashion brands distribute on the platform. Amazon has stated a policy of limiting discounting on high-end fashion brands, not asking for “mark down” money or taking returns on unsold inventory. But fashion brands hare still hesitant to partner with the retailer.
Part of the aversion to Amazon is fear of losing brand equity, as brands are willing to work with Amazon-owned entities that carry a different name and look. The five Fashion brands in L2’s Amazon Insight Report: Luxury Fashion (Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, Kate Spade, Cole Haan, and Tommy Hilfiger) that do work with Amazon have lower price points. Part of the damage to equity comes from third-party sellers, which control 59% of product listings for official Amazon distributors and 93% of listings for non-distributors.
But declaring a no engagement policy with Amazon (as LVMH, Kerring Group, and Richemont have done) does little for brand equity and distribution control. For example, third-party sellers have listed 2,470 Gucci and 3,536 Dolce & Gabbana items on Amazon, more than the total number of Cole Haan and DVF SKUs available on the platform.