Luxury and haute couture have always been apprehensive about adopting e-commerce. But Amazon, which is the webs largest store is confident that they can change the perception of the labels in the field of luxury fashion. The online retailer is known more for its discounted books and household items but has now created a separate fashion division which is headed by Cathy Beaudoin who is designated as President. The luxury brands resisted getting onto the online bandwagon because they feared it will dilute their brand identity and because buying luxury is more about experience than the product itself. They somewhat reluctantly opened their own online stores when their physical stores started losing sales during the economic downturn.
Louis Vuitton is Certain it Will Never go to Amazon
Cathy Beaudoin, president of Amazon’s fashion division believes that it is a transformative time in fashion and with younger buyers wanting luxury goods and services online more and more prestigious brands will have to make themselves available on the web. However, the older luxury brands feel that they have to be selective in deciding where they are available on the web. Yves Carvelle, the CEO of Louis Vuitton believes in direct control on his channel of sales. He believes that a brand like Louis Vuitton will never sell on a web store like Amazon. To maintain the brand identity direct control is necessary and according to him, in the long term that is the direction most luxury e-commerce will take.
It is Important to Maintain Brand Identity Online
On the other hand there are some other high end labels who are not that certain. Jonathan Akeroyd, Chief Executive of Alexander McQueen, when faced with the dilemma is unwilling to write off Amazon forever. The markets and the economic environment is dynamic so one can never be certain about the future. However he is very aware of the fact that it is important to maintain the brand identity online at the highest level. The share of e-commerce in overall retail has increased dramatically but it might not be very wise to position a luxury fashion brand in the middle of all kinds of small household items. However, Amazon is moving ahead with its plans and is confident of roping in some haute couture brands and increase its appeal amongst the regular Amazon users.