Seattle-based Amazon.com already features designers such as Armani, Gucci, and Valentino in the apparel and accessories section of its mammoth Website. But like many a clotheshorse, the company decided that it still doesn’t have enough apparel, and so it bought Madison, WI-based Shopbop.com, an online merchant of trendy women’s apparel and accessories. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in 1999, Shopbop.com features products from more than 75 brands including Marc Jacobs, Juicy Couture, and True Religion. It will continue to operate as a stand-alone site.
Russ Grandinetti, vice president for Amazon’s apparel and accessories division, says the purchase of Shopbop.com is a “natural progression” for the online merchant giant. “We’ve been in the apparel business for a couple of years, but for the particular market of online women’s fashion, the shopping experience she wants can be very different than others,” says Grandinetti. “We’re incredibly happy to have Shopbop.com become part of the Amazon family. We look forward to introducing their incredible brand and store to Amazon’s tens of millions of customers.”
Similarly, Shopbop.com CEO Bob Lamey is eager about his company’s new opportunity. “What Amazon does very, very well is technology and driving customer traffic and exposing us to a great number of people,” he says. Shopbop, meanwhile, is “among the best in the world at merchandising, and the brands we carry have their finger on the pulse of fashion along with our creative team.”
Is Amazon’s purchase of the trendy apparel merchant a portent of things to come? Will the company be making a major push to snap up more online boutiques?
“I wouldn’t read anything into [the Shopbop acquisition] other than it’s in line with our mission,” Grandinetti says. “Many [of our] customers already are or will be Shopbop.com customers. We always start with the customer and work backward. We’re really excited because we think the world of Bob and the team at Shopbop.com.”