Amazon and Vogue fashion a deal to deliver the big fall magazine

July 28, 2015 03:05 PM

Amazon’s announcement Tuesday that it will sell online Vogue magazine’s popular September fall fashion issue signals a shift in the way luxury brands see e-commerce, two retail consultants say. Inc. and Conde Nast are partnering to sell Vogue’s hot, telephone book-size September issue to Amazon customers. Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, will deliver the issue as soon as Aug. 14, even though it doesn’t go on sale until Aug. 19. “Get your copy of the highly anticipated, September Issue of VOGUE delivered to your door, in a limited edition custom VOGUE box, days before the rest,” Amazon says on the Vogue product page.

Consumers can pre-order the magazine on today. The price remains the same as the newsstand price of $5.99.

Neither Conde Nast nor Amazon could be reached for immediate comment.

“To me, it’s a clear way [for Amazon] to get a jump-start on the fashion apparel business” after making clear they want to be taken seriously in that segment, says Stacey Widlitz, president of SW Retail Advisors, a retail consultancy based in New York and London.

“As we’ve seen with the performance of (Amazon’s) Prime and subscriptions, (Amazon) continues to cast a wider net and, eventually, brands will have to recognize if they want an audience to expand their business, this is the way to do it,” Widlitz says.

She noted that the luxury shopper is a new demographic for Amazon and the leading e-retailer can “make a statement” by driving Vogue readers to its site. The Vogue tie-up also could be a way for Amazon to appeal to a younger, more fashion-forward customer, Widlitz says.

“They are making it easier for a fashion-forward, slightly younger customer to get her fall fashion issue—quickly and, if she’s a Prime member, with no shipping fee. It’s making everyone’s life easier,” Widlitz says. “If [Amazon] can do that for a customer a bit differently, the customer will start thinking of Amazon a bit differently.”

Vogue’s website shows the median reader is 38.5 years old, has a $62,087 household income and is likely (68%) to be college educated. Such consumers typically view Amazon as selling commodity items, everything from electronics to household items, Widlitz sayes.

Anne Brouwer, senior partner with Chicago-based retail consultancy McMillan Doolittle, says the partnership is a creative way for Amazon to continue to make use of its vast distribution network to fulfill online orders for a variety of products. For Vogue, she says, the partnership can help it attract new customers in a way that’s “easy, consumer-friendly and maybe even fun.” Membership in Amazon Prime costs $99 a year and gives customers free two-day delivery on 20 million products plus other perks. Boosting Prime subscribers was a key feature of the e-retailer’s Prime Day promotion on July 15, which broke its Black Friday sales records.






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