Try before you buy

At present, the ability to touch and feel products online is a matter of science fiction. This is good news for the offline community, and a particular issue for the online-only fashion industry. Consequently, brands such as Missguided and Boohoo have opted to pursue the online-to-offline route and open bricks and mortar stores to showcase their products in physical space. Last week Amazon also stepped into this space opening their own pop-up store in Baker Street. The store changes its stock every two days and will host events throughout the week including yoga sessions and jeans customisation. ‘Fashion is a key category for us as it’s central to people’s lives,’ says Susan Saideman, Vice-President for Amazon’s European fashion division. We see this in the recent launch of ‘Prime Wardrobe’ which allows Amazon’s Prime customer base to order 3 to 8 items of clothing, with a zero cost returns policy within 7 days. Nonetheless, the recent pop-up offering suggests that the retail giant is not restricting itself to an online only model. A spokeswoman for Amazon UK Fashion commented in The Guardian this week, “We know with fashion, customers love to touch and feel the product. We are definitely an e-commerce brand, and that is a part of everything we do, but we are experimenting and trying new things.