Amazon is filling out its section of artisanal and handmade products with apparel and shoes.The online megaretailer’s Handmade at Amazon shop has been around for about two years but has been focused on crafts and stationery. But in May, Amazon launched a wedding section of the shop offering fashion accessories such as hats, gloves, handbags and garters, as well as jewelry, but no dresses or tuxedos.With the formal addition of apparel and shoes, that could change. The new section of the handmade shop offers a range of women’s dresses, from casual shifts to full-length evening gowns, all seemingly made by third-party sellers. There are also T-shirts, sweatshirts, socks and jeans on offer. For men, the selection is limited to T-shirts and sweaters.The Handmade shop also recently launched a specific gift section, Amazon said.Adding handmade apparel and accessories to its already massive selection of products is only one of Amazon's many moves into the fashion space.One big push is Amazon’s private label business, which seems to be getting increasingly popular with shoppers. Its casual women’s label Lark & Ro is said to have done nearly $10 million in sales in the last year, while other of its brands have chalked up a combined $24 million in sales.Research from RBC Capital Markets earlier this year found that apparel is Amazon’s most popular category and the sector is expected to grow at a yearly rate of 32 percent. So its expansion to handmade apparel may not be that surprising, but it’s probably not exciting anyone over at Etsy, which operates solely as an online marketplace for independent designers and manufacturers of various goods, including apparel. Etsy earlier this year brought in Josh Silverman, Skype’s former ceo, to replace its longtime ceo Chad Dickerson, despite continual revenue growth. The company also said it was cutting 8 percent of its workforce in order to reduce expenses and looking to move “forward” while remaining “agile.” Etsy went on to cut another 15 percent of its staff a few weeks later. When the leadership change was revealed, Silverman said he understood “how difficult it is to create a differentiated value proposition for buyers that provides a unique opportunity for sellers.”Its second-quarter financials showed revenues up by 19.1 percent to $101.6 million and net income of $11.7 million, compared to a net loss of 7.3 million a year ago.Silverman said then that third-quarter growth was expected to be even greater given a range of unspecified “product experiments,” and that the company was “doubling down” on its core marketplace going forward.For More, See:Kohl’s Taking Amazon Returns After In-Store Display Deal Activist Shareholder Steps Up Pressure on HBCTarget’s Feel-Good Holiday Stance
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