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Consumers Can’t Say No to Amazon’s Private-Label Prices

Amazon’s surge as a major force in apparel has been well documented, with the e-commerce giant overtaking Walmart as the most-shopped apparel retailer in terms of total consumers last year. But its already notable fleet of private-label merchandise just keeps growing. As many as 54 percent―12,222―of Amazon’s 22,617 private-label products reside in apparel, according to a recent report from Coresight Research.

Women’s wear accounts for 58 percent of all private-label products in the apparel category, which covers clothing, footwear and accessories such as jewelry and luggage, according to the report reflecting products listed on Amazon.com in early April. In collaboration with competitive intelligence provider DataWeave, Coresight analyzed the private-label products offered under 111 identified Amazon U.S. private labels.

Amazon’s apparel category features 87 of the company’s 111 private label brands. The three with the most offerings in apparel are Amazon Essentials (1,924), Daily Ritual (1,447) and Goodthreads (1,155)—and these are the only three apparel brands that offer more than 1,000 products.

Of Amazon’s top 30 brands, 63 percent sell apparel products, further underlining the category’s proliferation across Amazon’s private-label portfolio.

The average price of a private-label apparel product on Amazon is $31.88, indicating an overall mid-market positioning. Men’s clothing averages $23.86, whereas women’s clothing averages slightly higher at $25.86. Prices for men’s shoes average $46.89, while women will pay a few cents less for the company’s private-brand footwear, at $46.53. The average women’s private-label apparel item sells for $36.18, while for men’s apparel, the average comes in at $28.06.

Amazon Essentials, which carries the largest number of apparel offerings, recorded an average price of just under $18, while formal dress brand Social Graces averaged $109.90. Meanwhile, men’s wear brand Franklin Tailored, whose assortment features office-ready attire of slacks, shirts, and sportcoats, sells for an average of $69.70.

Both apparel and private-label products have been major growth channels for Amazon over the past two years. Private-label products across all categories have more than tripled from the 6,825 identified in June 2018, supported by a 50 percent increase in the number of private-label brands, the report says.

It is no surprise, then, that shopping for apparel and footwear on Amazon has become considerably more popular in recent years. Roughly 70 percent of U.S. apparel shoppers said they bought clothes and shoes on Amazon, according to a February Coresight survey. That total was a full 10 percentage points higher than in 2019, and nearly 25 percent higher than in 2018. Up to 80 percent of Amazon Prime members purchase these categories on the e-commerce platform, with account holders making up 58 percent of all Amazon apparel shoppers. Even without a Prime membership, more than two-fifths of shoppers are still buying wardrobe items on the site.

These shoppers largely left behind mass merchants and mid-market department stores, like Kohl’s, to shop on Amazon, with nearly 40 percent of shoppers saying they reallocated dollars that would have typically been spent at Walmart, while approximately 38 percent said they normally would have spent it at Target. Another 28 percent cited Kohl’s as a retailer that previously got their dollars.

With 29 percent of shoppers expressing doubt over whether they will be ever as comfortable entering a store as they were prior to the pandemic, according to a recent survey from Fast, Amazon has a significant opportunity to capitalize on a potential new flood of consumers.

Earlier this year, Coresight said the top performing 30 brands on Amazon Fashion actually account for 95 percent of purchase activity, yet the platform’s top seller isn’t a brand at all. “Generic” or unbranded merchandise topped rankings in September 2019, with 906 percent growth over the previous year. The generic distinction is applied to more 65,000 products on Amazon Fashion, making it the overall most-listed “brand,” showing that customers are open to clothing unbranded by flashy and familiar logos.

Despite apparel presently making up 54 percent of Amazon’s private-label product line, this percentage is actually a notable decrease from two years ago, when nearly 75 percent of private label-items fell into the clothing, footwear and accessories categories. This indicates that Amazon’s private labels now span a broader range of categories, with the most products in home and kitchen (3,409, well ahead of the 852 in June 2018), grocery and gourmet food (1,820) and tools and home improvement (1,104).

As Amazon has generated success in a private-label arena where clothing and footwear afforded much of its initial good fortune, the company has steadily courted price-sensitive and brand-agnostic shoppers with in-house labels across a wider range of categories.

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