The Implications of Amazon’s Many Clothing Brands

The retailer has many more in-store brands than comparably-sized companies

Package from Amazon
A package from Amazon
paulswansen/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / July 7, 2019 3:04 pm

Over the weekend, a BuzzFeed report explored the many companies owned by Amazon — from companies they’ve bought like Zappos and Goodreads to a number of in-house brands. While it’s not particularly strange for a large technology company to have numerous subsidiaries, or for a sizable corporation to have a hand in many industries, something about the report particularly stood out for a handful of retail observers. 

While many large retailers, such as Target, have one in-house label for all of their clothing, Amazon breaks from this tradition. At The Verge, Russell Brandom delved into the most curious aspect of this: just how numerous Amazon’s private label brands are, especially compared with their competition.

They’re the equivalent of store brands like Faded Glory (Walmart) or Goodfellow (Target), only there are way more of them than you would expect.

The article notes that Amazon has 66 distinct fashion brands total, none of which have quite clicked with consumers. Brandom’s conclusions about Amazon’s private label foray is ultimately a critical one:

With that in mind, Amazon’s dozens of interchangeable store brands seem like a sign of failure rather than success. Amazon would love to foster an in-house clothing line with a dedicated following, the way it has for shows on Amazon Prime or streamers on Twitch. Each one of those brand names represents an attempt to single out a specific niche and build a following. But none of those attempts panned out.

Brandom also notes that aspects of Amazon’s forays into brands may speak to the ongoing question of whether Amazon violates antitrust legislation. It’s not an argument that often comes up when discussing clothing, but here it leaves the reader with much to ponder.

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