Is a surprising clothing company set to take over the US?

By Nell Walker
As online sales inevitably outstrip those of bricks-and-mortar stores, an oddly surprising company is threatening to take the lead in the ongoing race t...

As online sales inevitably outstrip those of bricks-and-mortar stores, an oddly surprising company is threatening to take the lead in the ongoing race to become the biggest clothing retailer.

 

Amazon has left Nordstrom, Gap, Kohl’s, and Macy’s in the dust as it creeps ever closer to being the biggest online clothing seller in America. Sales last year totalled a hefty $16.3 billion. This makes it second only to Walmart.

Amazon has snuck up the inside lane quietly, acquiring clothing and footwear companies along the way, and hiring luxury fashion executives like Julie Gilhart and Caroline Palmer in order to become the American clothing behemoth it is today. The latter strategy has given the company the know-how to branch out into high-end fashion sales, and its standard apparel sales are not just overtaking those of competitors, but causing a loss to high street businesses.

Amazon is expected to continue taking business from department stores, and its newfound reputation as a fashion giant should spread beyond the US. CEO Jess Bezos gave his reasoning for joining in the apparel retail race back in 2012 in an interview: “Gross profit dollars per unit will be much higher on a fashion item [than cheaper things]”. You can’t argue with that logic.

 

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