Economy

Amazon is reportedly developing its own sportswear line

One of its suppliers is Taiwanese vendor Makalot Industrial Co., known for making clothes sold by Uniqlo, Gap and Kohl's.

The project is brand new with contracts that are long-term, but not yet signed, said those involved.

Though sources say the initial orders are small, SinoPac Securities Corp. analyst Silvia Chiu, who was the first to note Amazon's involvement with Ecat, told the publication, "The contribution this year will be small, but the potential is high".

Amazon has previously ventured into private-label fashion, offering office clothing, jackets and dresses under names like Goodthreads and Paris Sunday.

However, it's stepping into sports apparels is expected to up the competition for some of the world's biggest athletic brands, as also lead to upheaval of the industry. The pieces will be made alongside Nike, Lululemon and Under Armour in Taiwan's Eclat Textile Co. Amazon didn't immediately return Retail Dive's request for confirmation or comment on Bloomberg's report. Last month, Nike said it expects sales to decline again this quarter in North America.

Meanwhile, Under Armour slashed its sales forecast for the year during August.

Activewear companies like Nike and Lululemon are already facing steep competition in the market. While Lululemon is looking for growth in the overseas market following competition in the market for yoga trousers and other sporty apparel.

Amazon has also been hiring new staff that has the know how in the private label arena.

Indications that Amazon may be working on an activewear first arrived in January when Re/Code noted that Amazon posted three job listings in late December for brand managers and senior brand managers working on "Amazon Active Apparel". Nineteen of the retailer's top selling private label items fall under its AmazonBasics label, which is also the site's third best selling brand overall in the US with items like electronic peripherals, batteries and office décor and supplies topping the list, according to One Click Retail.

Bloomberg further reports that Amazon normally do not look for creating its own products but when it feels that there is a gap in its inventory in terms of products consumers usually want then it looks into the manufacturing of its own merchandise.



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