With its entry into the India's largest and fastest growing fashion category, online retailer Amazon.in plans to strengthen its presence in the Indian e0retail market. The company entered into the apparels segment launching ethnic and Indo-western wear for women taking on more established players in the field.
The move comes at a time when India's largest e-commerce firm Flipkart is in discussions to acquire fashion e-retailer Myntra reportedly for about Rs2,400 crore, which could make it the largest merger in the Indian e-commerce segment.
Also Snapdeal is charting a similar course in the fashion category with its recent acquisition of product discovery site Dotzoon.
Online fashion saw a doubling in value from $278 million in 2012 to $559 million in 2013 and with women shoppers finding it convenient and cost effective, the segment is expected to witness fast track growth, which seems to have attracted Amazon. Women shoppers are also helping push sales of categories such as fashion, home decor, jewellery and baby care.
In addition to the fashion segment that will offer over 12,000 contemporary and traditional styles from over 90 apparel brands by private labels, national and regional retailers, the company also launched a dedicated store for sunglasses across gender, price, age and occasions.
''With a vast selection of fashion jewellery, watches, beauty products, handbags, clutches, shoes and now ethnic wear and sunglasses, Amazon.in offers a compelling fashion and lifestyle shopping destination for women,'' Amazon said in a statement.
The US-based firm launched its marketplace platform in India last June offering books and video content, and later expanded its product offering to electronics, toys, music and other consumer goods.
Amazon's entry into apparel and accessories will heat up competition for the likes of Myntra and Jabong, the top firms in the category.
According to analysts, apparel and accessories offered higher margins to online retailers than books and electronics, where there was less or no room to set high prices.
Amazon's entry may be expected to put pressure on Myntra and others to maintain or hike the already high discounts as the US-based company generally offered the lowest prices for any product it sold.