• Anne Heaney, Director

How Fashion Can Fight Amazon.

Amazon recently posted its eighth straight quarter of growth. In fact, in the first quarter of 2017 its revenue grew by a jaw-dropping 23 percent, hitting net income of $724 million. Amazon Prime subscribership jumped to over 80 million members, representing a gravity-defying increase of 36 percent.

Making their spider web of value even stickier, Amazon will spend a whopping $4.5 billion on original and licensed content this year to feed its burgeoning video streaming business, falling just shy of Netflix’s $6 billion investment. As Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, “When we win a Golden Globe, it helps us sell more shoes.” And speaking of shoes, Amazon has also secured the number two spot in US apparel sales, second only to Walmart, which it is expected to eclipse very soon.

For some brands, a list of wins this long would represent a lifetime of achievements. For Amazon, it’s quickly coming to be seen as a decent quarter. Amazon, it would seem, is unstoppable, invincible, undefeatable.

Yet, despite all their recent achievements, innovations and accolades, there are some adjectives that I can’t ever recall hearing mentioned in the same sentence as Amazon. Conspicuous by their absence in most commentary on the internet giant are words like fun, beautiful and joyous. You’ll very rarely, if ever, hear Amazon described in these terms.

Amazon is a passionless yet wickedly effective means of consuming. They’ve taken what used to be a sometimes painful, arduous multi-site online buying experience and literally brought it down to one-stop and zero clicks with Alexa. Amazon is quite simply the shortest distance between wanting and getting.

And it's this one tiny yet glaring chink in Amazon's seemingly impenetrable suit of armour that may just offer their competitors an opportunity to inflict a small wound, or at least save themselves from outright annihilation. Using the art of retail and customer experience to counter Amazon’s science, retailers may just stand a chance of surviving, if not thriving in their shadow.

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