Okay, so, Amazon already sells bras, but on behalf of other companies. Now, it’s starting to make its own. Just like they did when Amazon first started selling food and when Amazon first started selling just about everything else everyone’s freaking out that it’s going to unsettle all the big guys in the lingerie business.
What's the big DD-eal (sorry!)
People think of lingerie as one of the last big e-commerce no-go areas. Basically, fit is super important, so people thought women would always prefer to try bras on in person, rather than buy online. Women will only feel comfortable buying online if it’s a brand and fit they know already.
This is starting to change. A change in fashion – things like bralets or crop-tops, which are all a bit more forgiving in sizing – is seeing more people (by people, read millennials) turn to online stores.
People are interested because Amazon has the power, and previous experience, to unseat big names like Victoria’s Secret and Calvin Klein, which have been at the top of the underwear game for decades. Victoria’s Secret, for example, is said to have a share of over 60% of the lingerie market. Although some e-commerce start-ups are trying to encourage millennials away from the brand – offering alternative fitting patterns, and even subscription services they can't operate on anywhere near the scale Amazon can.
How are they going to do it?
The main thing is price. Amazon’s already started selling bras in Europe for under $10, and it seems likely they’ll go for a similar price in the US.
The Wall Street Journal is saying that the bras are going to be similar in quality to big, expensive brands like Calvin Klein and Victoria’s Secret, which have built an entire business out of the fact they manufacture bras for around $10 and sell them on at a higher, luxury price of around $40.
This means – we can assume – that Amazon is going to be prepared to make a lot less money per item, just for the sake of undercutting the big guys and encouraging people to try their product out. Sneaky!