retail news in context, analysis with attitude

BrandWeek reports that as so many retailers embrace private label as a way to offer cash strapped shoppers expanded options, Amazon.com – the world’s biggest e-tailer – is testing the same waters.

According to the story, a new private label line called Tom Douglas by Pinzon, went live this week, offering a variety of cooking equipment.

An Amazon spokesperson tells BrandWeek that the retailer also has an outdoor furniture line called Strathwood that serves as a private label, and has offered some private brands since 2004 – though there is no statement from Amazon as to what extent the e-tailer may be considering a further expansion.

Fast Company analyzes the initiative this way: “The fact that a pioneer of online retailing and maker of such forward-looking products as the Kindle is dabbling in private label linens and patio furniture speaks well of the dexterity of Amazon's leadership. The company can make money selling e-readers, but it can also make money selling miter saws. The move into private labels means Amazon is competing with its obvious online rivals like eBay, but it's also staying competitive with storefront rivals like Target or Kohl's.”
KC's View:
I think this is a smart move by Amazon as long as it can keep the quality up and the prices down. Being an unabashed fan of Tom Douglas, I think this is a particularly great alliance. (If only I could order a pizza online from his Serious Pie restaurant in Seattle…preferably the one with cherry bomb peppers and sweet fennel sausage that makes my hungry even at this hour of the morning…)