Rumors of Amazon’s plan to begin selling its own brand of $10 bras was initially seen as a play against Victoria’s secret. However, a note published by Morgan Stanley explains that Amazon’s budget bras are more of a threat to big box retailers like Walmart and Target, since Victoria’s Secret typically sells bras around $40.
Morgan Stanley’s note also points to the fact Victoria’s Secret continues to own about 27% of the market even though Walmart and Target already intimate apparel at lower prices. This indicates that people who shop at Victoria’s Secret value service and product quality over low prices, and are unlikely to be swayed by even lower prices. Amazon’s strategy, it seems, is near identical to the ones already in place at Walmart or Target.
The note added, “Given Walmart and Target’s similar price points to Amazon’s supposed $10 offering (Walmart $8-15, Target $10-20, vs. Victoria’s Secret’s ~$35) as well as a similar ‘no to little service’ model, we suspect these retailers are likely to be more negatively impacted than Victoria’s Secret should Amazon persuade consumers to start buying intimates on its site.”
Amazon is accessing a sizable market, given the fact that big box retailers make up about 50% of the US intimate apparel market. Morgan Stanley also notes, however, that intimate apparel products must meet certain fit requirements, high quality standards, and multiple style needs. Bras typically come in 5+ cups sizes, 4+ band sizes and 5-10 different colors, making it a difficult category to win.
Morgan Stanley’s survey also notes that Amazon’s Intimates category is its second least popular one on the site, suggesting the launch of intimate apparel products will be an uphill battle. Though details of the in-house collection are scarce, Amazon has already launched a similar project in Europe by the name of Iris & Lilly. The collection, so far, has been received well.
The U.S. line will most likely debut within the next few weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal.