Bengaluru: Amazon India has signed up Aditya Birla Group-owned online fashion store abof (Aditya Birla Online Fashion) as a seller on its marketplace in a move that will help the Seattle-headquartered company expand its offerings in the high margin fashion business while exposing abof to a wider audience base during the coming festive season.
Initially, abof will list more than 1,200 products in apparels, priced between Rs.395 and Rs.1,995 and will launch footwear and accessories in the coming months, Amazon said in a statement on Thursday.
Expanding its fashion business is important for Amazon in its e-commerce battle with Flipkart, which owns Myntra and Jabong—two of the largest specialty online fashion retailers in India.
Fashion is expected to be the single-largest product category in online retail by 2020 and also offers much higher margins than books and electronics, according to a May report by Google Inc. and A.T. Kearney.
“This launch from the house of Aditya Birla Group further enhances selection on Amazon Fashion that already includes brands from Madura Garments and Pantaloons. Also, it reinforces our commitment to offer a width of choice, across price spectrum, to suit varied preferences of our customers,” said Arun Sirdeshmukh, head, Amazon Fashion, India, in a statement.
Madura and Pantaloons merged in May 2015 to form Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd.
Amazon claims to sell more than two million fashion products from 15,000 brands.
Amazon launched fashion in a full-fledged way only towards the end of 2014 but it has quickly caught up with Flipkart by spending hundreds of crore on marketing, forging alliances with fashion labels, offering deep discounts through the year and delivering products fast.
Amazon India has also launched the first of at least six fashion private labels it proposes to introduce this year, as it looks to boost sales and margins in the second largest product category in e-commerce.
The first brand, Symbol, was launched by Cloudtail India Pvt. Ltd, Amazon’s largest seller, earlier this month, Mint reported on 20 September.
Earlier this month, Amazon had listed online furniture store Urban Ladder as a seller on its platform. Traditionally, internet-only brands, especially in the fashion and jewellery segments, have partnered with larger online marketplaces which have higher traffic and bigger customer base.
Industry experts, however, say this might signal stunted growth for the brands, which prompts them to list on online marketplaces with higher user base.
For instance, Amazon opened a store on Alibaba-owned Tmall.com in China last year, after it failed to edge past Alibaba in Asia’s biggest economy.