Sunday, November 18The Voice of London

Amazon meets the concrete jungle of Baker Street

After launching its first pop-up stores in America two years ago, Amazon has finally crossed the pond.

This week, Amazon Fashion opened its first U.K pop-up store in London. The US based e-commerce giant entered the fashion industry in 2012 and set high ambitions to become one of the industry’s shaping forces. Having overtaken American flagship Macy’s in sales, Amazon is estimated to gain a further £35b-£66bn in retail sales.

Located near Baker Street, the pop-up store features luxury brands, live performances and convenient phone-scan purchasing. Each of the five days offers a different collection and theme for customers. To make the shopping experience easier, customers can purchase products by using Amazon’s ‘SmileCode’ scanning app, with the added bonus of discounts and home delivery.

Autumn/Winter collections for men and women were the focus of Tuesday and Wednesday, with music by DJ Charlotte de Carle and and an panel discussion with Vogue’s Beauty and Lifestyle Director, Jessica Diner. On Thursday, sportswear and well-being dominated, complemented by a yoga session with Ella Mills, founder of Deliciously Ella. Friday and Saturday is set to centre around denim, party and streetwear, with acoustic performances from British musicians Tom Grennan and NAO.

“We have curated a selection of top brands and key fashion items, which we think our customers will love, all of which can be purchased virtually through the Amazon app or physically in store,” said Susan Saideman, Amazon Fashion Vice President for Europe.

Is it worth the hype?

Despite promotional efforts, the brand’s brick-and-mortar shop is seemingly more calculative than customer-centred. Many Twitter users complained about the limited brand selection and high prices. Featured store brands have been mostly designer, with labels like Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, LOVE Moschino, Vans and Levi’s. Amazon Fashion’s own brands, Find, Truth & Fable, and Meraki are also featured.

When The Voice of London visited the store Friday afternoon, there were more stylists and shop assistants than customers. The whole concept felt a bit cold and not customer friendly at all. Amazon might be leading the world of online shopping, but it needs to focus more on affordability and the needs of its customers to conquer the concrete jungle of London.

Also read: Debenhams needs to go through a 45-day consultation process with the employees before closing a store

 

Words: Noémi Martini | Subbing: Taylor Paatalo

 

 

 

 

 

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