Amazon already has its hand in the online clothing shopping game, with the flash sale site MyHabit.com and its shoe version Endless.com, but The New York Times's Stephanie Clifford tells us today that the "Walmart of online shopping" has decided to go high end. Amazon has gotten the Walmart comparison, providing everyone one needs, at low prices. It also, like Walmart, has killed retail competition, putting stores like Borders and Best Buy out of business. Also, like Walmart, when looking for a discount, people head to Amazon. But, also, also like Walmart, that means it has certain associations with a low-end market -- it's not exactly the type of place one goes to buy their finest goods. Would you buy a $1,390 dress at Walmart? Or even a $369 dress? So why would you at Amazon? Nevertheless, Amazon is making a bunch of investments that it hopes will get it out of the Walmart zone and into the Target area, a place where people buy stuff from high-end designers, as long as the prices are discounted.
As of now, Amazon's clothing sites work like other luxury flash-sale sites such as Gilt Group. The site offers a designer's line of products at a deep discount for a set amount of time. Right now there's a Derek Lam deal going on through Saturday, which has thousand dollar items selling for under $500. Though the site, which launched one year ago, has the same basic premise of Gilt, it hasn't seen the same success. And it sounds like it has something to do with its Walmart-esque feel. "Many brands stayed away because they said Amazon’s site often looked too commoditized," writes Clifford. "It’s not a place where you look at it and are like, ‘Oh, my clothes look and feel really good,’" Andy Dunn, founder of the men’s fashion brand Bonobos, which does not sell through Amazon, told Clifford. Heading over the Endless.com, Amazon's Internet shoe-store, the offerings, against a plain white background stacked in rows, look intensely unappealing; the flip-flop selection on Gilt-group looks more appealing.