Amazon takes on UK fashion retailers with 'try before you buy' service

Fashion, like grocery shopping and advertising, is among the many industries Amazon wants to upend / Amazon

Amazon has brought Prime Wardrobe, its 'try before you buy' fashion shopping service, to the UK.

The feature, which will help the e-commerce giant take on the likes of Asos, is available to Amazon Prime subscribers. It allows customers to have clothes delivered free of charge, giving them a seven day period in which to decide what they want to return, keep, and pay for. Shipping is free both ways.

Brands available for purchase through Prime Wardrobe UK at launch include a mix of high street and designer names including Levi's, Calvin Klein, New Look, Ted Baker, French Connection and more.

Amazon’s exclusive private labels are also featured, including streetwear range Find, lingerie brand Iris & Lilly and athleisure collection Aurique.

"Fit is an important factor when it comes to buying clothes and shoes, and with Prime Wardrobe, Amazon Prime members can try their purchases in the comfort of their own home at no extra cost," said Xavier Garambois, vice-president of Amazon EU Retail.

"We are excited to bring this service to Amazon Prime members in the UK following its successful launch in the US in June."

Fashion, like grocery shopping and advertising, is among the many industries Amazon wants to upend. Over the past two years its invested in Alexa integrations, bricks-and-mortar pop-ups and same-day delivery as well as rolling out its own labels.

In what has become an increasingly competitive market for traditional retailers like House of Fraser, John Lewis and M&S, Amazon has clearly spotted a gap in the online market. It's only been selling clothes in the UK since 2008 but it has a 4.6% share of the UK online clothing space (snapping at the heels of M&S but well behind John Lewis, Asos, eBay and Next) according to stockbroker Société Générale.

The company makes $177bn per-year, but it's not known how much of its revenues are driven by fashion.

Amazon's latest play follows on from UK retailers like Topshop, Asos and teaming up with payments firm Klarna to offer customers similar 'try before you buy' services.

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