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11/08/2017

Report: Online giant expands private-label assortment across three categories

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Amazon’s private-label offering recently got a big boost.

The online giant quietly launched its anticipated sportswear line in late October, a move that will turn up the heat on companies like Nike and Lululemon Athletica. However, merchandise can only be purchased by Prime members, according to Business Insider.

Currently, the category encompasses two new product lines, called Peak Velocity and Rebel Canyon. Peak Velocity is a high-performance menswear line that features athletic essentials including fleece hoodies, jogger pants, shorts and shirts that offer technical features such as moisture wicking functionality and breathability. Depending on the item, merchandise is priced between $79 and $29, according to Amazon’s website.

Peak Velocity is part of Amazon’s Rebel Canyon line, a lifestyle sportswear brand that is inspired by streetwear. Targeting both men and women, the line features jog pants, sweatshirts, T-shirts and hoodies. The merchandise is priced even lower than the Peak Velocity line, with items ranging between $12.95 and $42.95, according to the website.

Rebel Canyon was released earlier in 2017, according to Business Insider.

The lines’ debuts confirm last month’s industry buzz that Amazon was partnering with two of the biggest athletic-apparel suppliers with a goal of creating a new private-label sportswear line.

One company working with Amazon is Makalot Industrial Co. The manufacturer, which produces clothing for Gap Inc., Uniqlo and Kohl’s Corp., is already making apparel for the Amazon line. The online retailer is also working with Eclat Textile Co., which works with Nike, Lululemon Athletica and Under Armour.

The move takes a clear swipe at other go-to athletic brands, including Lululemon and Nike. However, Nike is currently in a pilot program with Amazon, where it is directly selling a limited selection of footwear, apparel, and accessories on the online giant’s site. Nike products have long been available on Amazon, but only through unauthorized third party sellers. This partnership marked the first time that Nike has sold directly on the Amazon.

Apparel isn't the only private label category that Amazon is bolstering. This online retailer also launched its first two proprietary in-home furniture brands, according to Furniture Today.

The two lines are Rivet, a Mid-Century modern living room furniture and décor line, and Stone & Beam, a more transitional, modern and higher-priced line. The collections include “hundreds of pieces,” including sofas, accent chairs, sectionals and loveseats, tables (in Rivet), storage ottomans (Stone & Beam), lighting, rugs and wall art, the report said.

An Amazon spokeswoman said in the report that while the pieces carry the Prime badge and feature free shipping, not all products — such as sofas — are available for two-day shipping.

The online retailer also reintroduced a private label diaper line — albeit under a new name. Amazon pulled its Amazon Elements diapers from its virtual shelves in 2014, but now customers can find them online under the “Mama Bear” name, which also sells diaper pail refills, baby food and baby laundry detergent, according to C-Net.

The diapers are available for sizes 1 to 6, but are currently available by invite only. A newborn size is featured online, but Amazon hasn't yet been released, according to Amazon’s website.

All three private-label lines are a way for the online retailer “to fill gaps in its lineup, rather than counting on big sports brands to offer their merchandise on Amazon,” L2 analyst Cooper Smith said in a Bloomberg report.