Amazon competitors are reportedly embracing the company’s online store as some of them close hundreds of brick and mortar shops, opting to sell their products directly through Amazon due to benefits such as the company’s delivery system.
According to Reuters, after women’s clothing chain Chico’s announced the closure of at least 250 physical stores in January, the company decided to branch out into Amazon.
“The world’s largest online retailer now sells around 2,300 Chico’s styles, from crease-proof trousers to fine-knit sweaters, representing nearly six times more product offerings than when it started last May,” Reuters reported, adding that companies from “Nike Inc and Under Armour Inc to Lands’ End Inc and Levi Strauss & Co,” are also now “distributing clothing and accessories directly through Amazon.com, attracted by more than 100 million members of Amazon’s loyalty club Prime and its advanced delivery network.”
“The risk in this relationship, according to interviews with retailers and industry analysts, comes if Amazon uses real-time data from customer purchases to help it quickly build out its own private label clothing brands, and ends up stealing market share from its current retail partners,” Reuters explained.
Kate Delhagen, Nike’s former senior director of global digital business development, described Amazon as a “frenemy” in an interview with Reuters.
“The word that’s most commonly used with respect to Amazon from a brand perspective, and also retailers to some extent, is ‘frenemy,’” she proclaimed.
In October, it was reported that Amazon had been rapidly expanding its private brands business, which allows manufacturers to make products exclusively for the Amazon brand name.
As previously reported, Amazon’s private brands include “AmazonBasics, Arabella, Beauty Bar, Denali, Franklin and Freeman, James and Erin, Lark and Ro, Mama Bear, NuPro, Small Parts, and Strathwood — encompassing lingerie, cosmetics, tools, shoes, baby products, tech, essentials, spare parts, furniture, and clothing for men, women, and children.”
This month, however, Amazon quietly removed “special treatment” to its private brands, which were reportedly given preferential spots in search results.
Last year, Amazon was also accused of conducting an “unlawful scheme” to steal merchants from eBay by messaging them on the platform and convincing them to switch platforms, which led to eBay sending a cease-and-desist letter to Amazon.
In the same year, Amazon joined Google and Facebook to become one of the three largest online advertisement companies, while this year, Amazon set its sights on taking over the book publishing industry– despite the company recently engaging in a digital book burning spree.