When executives created Amazon Luxury Stores they envisioned something similar to TMall’s wildly successful Luxury Pavilion. The retail behemoth thought they could step in and provide luxury brands with their own discrete section of the online shop. Amazon Luxury wanted to customize the shopping experience to each shopper’s custom needs but it’s been six months and the retailer is still struggling to supply shoppers with feelings of luxury or exclusivity.
Amazon Luxury’s launch was criticized for its underwhelming market landing. The store’s debut comprised one brand, Oscar de la Renta. Six months later, Amazon made some progress by launching new brands on Luxury Stores, but the retail behemoth has yet to draw a big luxury name to its ultra-exclusive version of Amazon’s shopping experience.
Amazon tends to hit markets full force. The company didn’t just reshape the postal industry, it also made an impact in the streaming market and more. Despite success in other areas, it’s apparent that Luxury Stores has not yet made the company a credible threat to other luxury-focused e-commerce players.
Amazon supported several launches with dedicated marketing campaigns. It financed short fashion movies for Roland Mouret and Altuzarra (both hosted on Luxury Stores). The retail great also created holiday gifting suites for Mark Cross and The Conservatory. Still, it seems to be floundering.
When asked for more information, Amazon declined to give specific sales and audience development numbers for Luxury Stores. The company also refused to make an executive available for comment. However, a spokesperson for the firm said Amazon has received favorable comments from the luxury brands that joined the marketplace, the majority of which have expanded their product offerings on the stage since joining via new collections.
“While many of Luxury Stores’ featured brands are well known, Amazon has yet to trap a really high profile, ultra-luxury brand,” says former Amazon employee, Elaine Kwon. (Elaine now works as the co-founder of e-commerce company Kwontified.)
“Someone like Gucci could have made an excellent first impression for the stage, but without a new brands like this, it is tough to say what their objective is,” Kwon said about Amazon’s Luxury Stores. “It might be that they are imagining Luxury Stores as a smaller offering so far. But I am surprised that they don’t have a larger brand yet.”
Notably, Luxury Pavilion, which Kwon said was a clear model for Amazon in creating Luxury Stores, started with several big names including Bottega Veneta and Valentino. Jose Neves,, the CEO of Farfetch, stated in a Time interview in February that he did not deem Amazon a threat, especially since none of the top-tier luxury groups have adopted it.
Ulrik Garde Due, CEO of Mark Cross, said part of his motivation for joining the stage was to use Amazon Prime’s two-day delivery and to “reach a bigger audience.” The shopping experience is accessible to Amazon Prime members (there are currently more than 100 million members) who get an invitation from the corporation.
Amazon declined to say how many invites have been sent out since launching and Garde Due declined to comment on this story. Furthermore, Luxury Stores is only available on in the “Programs and Features” section on the mobile site.
“One of the most troublesome obstacles that manufacturers struggle with on Amazon is being found,” Kwon said. “You compete with countless listings, most who are constantly spending marketing dollars to get a much better organic search position than you. When you combine that with a luxury store page that’s purposely attempting to isolate itself from this experience, how can they reconcile that? There needs to be a simple permanent path on the site that allows customers find and get into Luxury Shopping. Without that connection, the offer will be forever buried.”