24 May 2024, 16:48
By Furniture News Jan 29, 2020

The trade's take on Amazon's own lines

In February last year, Amazon unveiled its first UK own-brand furniture lines, stating that lighting, additional home furnishings and textile items will be introduced at a later date. What did Furniture News' retailer panel think about the development?

Royce Clark (Grampian Furnishers): This will be an interesting venture and I feel it may be more aimed at competing with Argos, IKEA, B&M etc. With the returns policy and delivery issues on bulky and fragile items it may be a short-term thing, who knows? But Amazon generally make things work …

Jerry Cheshire (Surrey Beds): I’m not surprised, as they have their own-brand most things. I’m shocked it’s taken them so long, to be honest. Amazon really have changed the face of retail, and they’re clearly not finished yet. Of course, the more low-quality product they sell online, the more discerning buyers will want to come into stores to see the good stuff

Mike Murray (Land of Beds): I think a few people had been anticipating this for some time and it seemed only natural for this to happen. People in this space need to watch this closely, as any sector Amazon goes into will be changed significantly, one way or the other. I think this will lead to most retailers having to improve their logistics and delivery operations, which should be good for the end-customer. However, the cost for the retailer – or, indeed, the manufacturer – is yet to be seen. One thing is for sure – Amazon will have been researching this sector for a while, so they will be confident there is a significant number of customers out there who are prepared to buy their furniture online

Steve Adams (MattressOnline): Is this the start of Amazon making inroads into our traditional heartland of furniture retail? Amazon is a force we can’t ignore. They will be going through a learning phase and identifying what is better for their bottom line and customer base – selling direct with their own brand or earning marketplace commission. If Amazon expands on this strategy, then we will all have to up our game even more

Ross Beveridge (Archers Sleepcentre): Amazon are the undisputed kings of online retailing, and while their platform served as a shop window for many years, the heavy duties applied for selling on it has forced many retailers (and manufacturers) to reconsider. It would appear everything Amazon touches turns to ‘sold’, and I would not be surprised to see them make this another successful move. Amazon certainly have the capabilities to claim market share and cause further disruption in an already crowded marketplace, although they might just find selling bulky goods to be more difficult than their small-parcel, same-day delivery triumphs

Steve Pickering (Sussex Beds): This is one to watch. The Amazon brand, following, reach and loyalty provides infinite opportunities to enter markets. Matching this with the right product offering and logistics system to fulfil will create the next phase of online disruption

Read more opinions on the big developments of 2019 in our annual retailer review, in the January 2020 issue of Furniture News.

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