Ama­zon is break­ing into the fash­ion mar­ket – with great vigour

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

THE YOUNG woman turns to show off her rag­ingly trendy lace dress with seethrough pan­els.

It looks as if it was picked up in some chic bou­tique in the Marais district of Paris or on London’s King’s Road.

Yet the out­fit is from a new brand by in­ter­net retail giant Ama­zon.

The web­site you, me and 285 mil­lion global shop­pers use to buy books and toys, has set its sights on fash­ion.

This might be won­der­ful news for us, but bosses at every high street fash­ion re­tailer in the UK are quak­ing in their vel­vet an­kle boots (an au­tumn must – yours from Ama­zon Find for just £49, or R850).

This is be­cause once Ama­zon sets its sights on dis­rupt­ing an in­dus­try, whether it’s books, movies – or most re­cently food, with its £10.7 bil­lion ac­qui­si­tion of Amer­i­can food giant Whole Foods – it doesn’t do things by halves.

It has launched the new Find col­lec­tion in the UK and Europe, with an ini­tial 500 pieces aim­ing to pro­vide both key ba­sics and hero pieces.

Ama­zon has a huge tech­ni­cal ad­van­tage. On top of promis­ing next-day de­liv­ery and free re­turns, it has in­for­ma­tion from hundreds of mil­lions of cus­tomers, so it can eas­ily dis­cover what we want, what we will pay and where gaps in the mar­ket lie.

It is also scrupu­lous about analysing cus­tomer re­views so it can use this in­for­ma­tion to evolve the col­lec­tion, ad­just­ing fit, fab­rics and styles, and mak­ing sure the right pieces ar­rive when we need them.

Not sur­pris­ingly Ama­zon has been ac­cused of re­duc­ing fash­ion to a science.

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