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Amazon to Launch Wardrobe Service

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  • Photo courtesy of Amazon

In its latest move to make inroads in the apparel industry, Amazon is launching Amazon Prime Wardrobe, a new free service for Amazon Prime members that could become a headache for industry retailers.

Amazon has become the largest seller of industry goods in the U.S., according to a SIMA consumer study.

With Amazon Prime Wardrobe, customers choose three or more items per box that they can try on at home. They have seven days to decide what they want to keep, and only pay for those items.

Amazon offers free shipping both ways, and makes returns easy by providing a prepaid label and a resealable box.

Customers have the choice of dropping the box at a UPS store or scheduling a free pickup at their home or office.

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To entice shoppers to buy more, Amazon is offering 10% off if three items are kept and 20% off if five or more are kept.

The service covers clothing, shoes and accessories across the price and brand spectrum for women, men, boys, girls and babies.

Prime Wardrobe is currently being tested and Amazon is offering Prime Members the opportunity to be notified when the service launches on a wider scale.

Online players are continuing to disrupt traditional apparel players. StitchFix, which offers customers personalized boxes of clothing selected by stylists that they can try on at home, has grown rapidly and is reported to be considering an IPO.

Men’s online apparel seller Bonobos, which operates 37 “guideshops” around the country where customers can try on clothing with a high level of customer service and then have their goods shipped to their home, was acquired last week by Wal-Mart for $310 million in cash.

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Wal-Mart has been buying digitally native vertical brands that were born online and are “owned” from design through distribution as it tries to get a better understanding of the changing retail landscape and compete with Amazon.

Bonobos Founder Andy Dunn will take on an expanded role at Walmart overseeing the new group of digitally native brands, including ModCloth and Moosejaw.

“We began Bonobos ten years ago to give men a completely different product and shopping experience: better fitting, higher quality clothing, in new and imaginative ways,” Dunn said in a press release announcing the Walmart deal. “That will always remain our mission. We are excited about applying all that we have learned to help shepherd in the next era of retail.”

 

 

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