Amazon Push Into Private-Label Sportswear Makes Quiet Debut
Amazon’s expansion into private-label active-wear is beginning to show up on its website – a move that will generate fresh competition for Nike and Lululemon.
Amazon is now selling at least two new product lines – Rebel Canyon and Peak Velocity – that appear to be internal brands, according to analysis by business-intelligence firm L2, Inc.
The e-commerce giant is adding the apparel as part of an effort to fill gaps in its line-up, rather than counting on big sports brands to offer their merchandise on Amazon, according to L2 analyst Cooper Smith.
“Amazon isn’t going to wait for brands to sell on its site. They’re going to make their own private label,” Smith, who handles Amazon research at L2, said in an interview. The names were trademarked by the office of James Struthers, an intellectual-property lawyer who has been associated with earlier Amazon applications, Smith said.
Amazon, based in Seattle, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Rebel Canyon features men’s sweatpants, sweatshirts and shorts, often priced below $30. The line-up is described on Amazon as 'a way of life' and 'style you’ll wear on the reg'. The brand also includes some women’s lounge clothing.
Peak Velocity, meanwhile, has higher-end fare, such as a $79 hooded fleece jacket and $59 jogger pants. The descriptions highlight the clothing’s technical features, including moisture-wicking and breathability.
The brands have customer reviews dating back to late July, but more of them are from October. Many of the reviews are labelled 'Amazon Vine', which provides free products to reviewers selected by Amazon, often before the items are widely released.
Bloomberg reported last month that Amazon was making the foray into private-label sportswear. The company has been working with major Taiwanese suppliers Makalot Industrial Co. and Eclat Textile Co. to produce the clothing as part of a trial, people familiar with the situation have said.
Eclat makes clothing for Nike, Lululemon and Under Armour, suggesting that Amazon’s new high-performance sportswear may become a direct competitor to apparel from those brands. Shares of those companies declined on the day when Bloomberg first reported on the project.
Lululemon shares pared their gains on Monday. After climbing as much as 1.4%, they were up just 0.4% as of 2.44 p.m. in New York.
Amazon has already ventured into other areas of private-label fashion, such as office clothing, jackets and dresses. That’s brought a growing array of company-owned brands, including names like Goodthreads and Paris Sunday.