It might be easier these days to list what Amazon doesn’t do rather than what it does. The retail giant is ensuring that it never becomes obsolete by staking in a claim in just about every sector there is, and the latest is sportswear. As per a report from Bloomberg, Amazon is in talks with some of the world’s largest athletic wear suppliers to launch its own brand of active clothing.
According to Bloomberg’s sources, Taiwanese firm Makalot Industrial Co., the company behind clothing for Gap, Uniqlo, and Kohl’s, is now churning out product for Amazon as well. Eclat Textile Co., also based in Taiwan, is said to be helping in these efforts as well — you’ll know this company as the maker of clothes from Nike, Lululemon, and Under Armour.
Apparently, the entire venture is still in trial stage, and contracts have yet to be signed. But that doesn’t mean Amazon isn’t making moves. It recently hired Kirsten K. Harris as a senior brand manager for Amazon active apparel. Harris previously led product development at Nordstrom’s activewear brand Zella, and also had a stint at Nike.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Amazon launched its own brand of clothing, having previously offered professional-wear, jackets, and dresses under its Goodthreads and Paris Sunday labels. However, if Amazon can offer cheap, high-quality athletic wear, it could be putting serious pressure on some of the giants of the athletic world. This is particularly concerning for established brands, whose businesses haven’t exactly been booming as of late.
Nike has said its sales will decline this quarter in North America, while Under Armour cut its annual sales forecast over the summer. As for Lululemon, upon announcement of Amazon’s potential entrance into the sportswear industry, shares fell as much as 4.9 percent.
So if you’re thinking of stocking up on some new athletic wear, but don’t want to pay the high prices demanded by today’s leading brands, you may want to wait just a little bit longer. There’s no telling what Amazon might have to offer, but if history is any indication, it’ll certainly be competitive.
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