This pandemic has hurt almost every other business including the high-end fashion industry the most. As we all know to maintain their brand prestige and eliminate the manufacturing of knockoffs, many luxury fashion brands restrict eCommerce such is launching a new designer collection or collaboration on the brand’s website, etc. Normally, clients would actually go to a brick and mortar of the luxury fashion house to be able to make a purchase of exclusive items, but due to this pandemic, the very foundation of luxury retail is shaken to its core – as one can no longer do instore shopping yet at most luxury houses. To combat this problem, the multinational tech giant Amazon has come up with a solution by launching Luxury Stores on its mobile app available for Prime members dedicated to the sales of luxury items.
So far, the haute couture designer Oscar de la Renta has joined this league partnering with Amazon and we think this is surely going to change the direction in which the brand’s sales move with the hope of watching other celebrated designers in the couture fashion industry to participate as well! The Oscar de la Renta Amazon Luxury Store has listed its pre-Fall and Fall/Winter 2020 collections of ready-to-wear apparel, accessories, jewelry, handbags, and a new exciting fragrance!
This new shopping model gives the U.S. luxury shoppers access to see all items in a 360-degree view and also gives merchandising tools and creative independence to the luxury brands as to how they want to list their merchandise and attract more customers than ever! “For me to get more mindshare with existing customers in addition to getting new customers — that’s the name of the game,” said Alex Bolen, CEO of Oscar de la Renta, to Vogue. Moreover, he reveals that somewhere near 100 percent of their existing customers are on Amazon and a huge percentage of those are Prime members.
Witnessing the way how things have gone south for many luxury fashion houses with closed doors of their brick and mortars, and on top of that, the departmental stores’ such Lord & Taylor and Neiman Marcus have filed for bankruptcy this year. All these events have further exacerbated the sales situation for many designers who would sell their merchandise through these departmental stores as well. “The return rate in our brick-and-mortar stores is low single digits on a bad day and almost 30 percent for online sales,” Bolen told Vogue. Moreover, even the French luxury retail groups Kering and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton revealed that there is a respective 29 and 28 percent drop in revenue during the first half of 2020 compared to the same time last year as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Indeed this pandemic has hit the luxury fashion industry pretty hard!
So in this way, the launch of Amazon Luxury Stores is a win-win for both sides, as the luxury fashion houses will get their lost business back and Amazon will gain more Prime subscriptions than ever!