Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) really wants you to buy clothes online. Actually, it wants you to buy everything online, but it's especially interested in selling you clothes lately. Over the past few years, the company has made several moves to pull itself deeper into the fashion world, and it recently made yet another move.
The online retailer opened a 46,000-square-foot photo studio in London, a move that will allow the company to shoot about 500,000 clothing images each year to show off its clothing options on its website.
"Our aim is to make Amazon the best place to buy fashion online," Sergio Bucher, VP of Amazon Fashion EU, said in a statement reported by TechCrunch. "The opening of our new fashion studio, in the heart of one of the leading fashion capitals of the world, illustrates our ambitions."
While that may not seem like a big jump into the fashion world, it's yet another step the company has made in order to propel itself to the top of the U.S. clothing market over the next few years.
Amazon's fashion moves
Amazon doesn't exactly come right out and say what its latest clothing retail strategy is, so we have to look at what the company's been doing over the past few years to see how the latest move fits in to its apparel plans. Let's have a look:
- Back in 2014, the company added 100 new fashion brands to its website.
- It started an Amazon Fashion competition in 2013, awarding $100,000 to fashion design students.
- The company bought online fashion retailer Shopbop back in 2006.
- It launched its own flash sale fashion website, Myhabit, back in 2011.
- Amazon created a men's fashion sales site, East Dane, in 2013.
- It just finished its major sponsorship of New York Fashion Week: Men's this month.
While all of those may be just small steps into the fashion world, Amazon's consistent fashion pursuits have already started paying off -- and if the latest data for online U.S. clothing sales pan out, Amazon will be a dominant player very soon.
Amazon is the latest clothing trend
According to recent research released by Cowen and Company, by 2017, Amazon will have overtaken Macy's as the largest seller of apparel in the U.S. -- and it will continue skyrocketing from there.
The data indicate Amazon will far outpace Macy's, TJ Maxx, Wal-Mart, and Nordstrom by 2020 and sell more than $50 billion worth of clothing in the U.S. Meanwhile, each of its competitors won't even break $30 billion, according to that survey. Cowen and Company believes that five years from now, Amazon will hold 14% of the U.S. clothing market share, up from just 5% this year.
It's not as if no one could have seen this coming over the past few years. Amazon has systematically targeted several industries and proved over and over again that customers are more than willing to forgo physical retail stores for Amazon's website. And with the company slowly growing its fashion pursuits, it's clear now that playing the long game in apparel sales is going to pay off for the company very soon.