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Timeline: History of Amazon fashion

As Amazon introduces ‘Prime Day’, a global shopping event for its Prime members, as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, Drapers takes a look back at the etailer’s history in the fashion sector.

July 2015

Amazon begins one-hour deliveries in central London

Amazon announces it will offer a one-hour delivery service to parts of central London in a move UK managing director Christopher North said is “just the beginning”. The service, which costs an extra £6.99 and requires a minimum order value of £20, is currently only accessible to shoppers in central London who subscribe to the etailer’s £79-a-year Prime membership scheme.

June 2015

Amazon to expand business loan programme

Amazon.com launches its small business loan programme, Amazon Lending, in the UK, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy and Spain. Amazon Lending, founded in 2012, offers loans to small and medium sized companies that trade goods via Amazon’s Marketplace division for third-party sellers.

May 2015

Amazon UK directors step down ahead of tax clampdown

Amazon’s managing director and finance director for the UK step down from the board ahead of a clampdown which sees the etailer start paying tax in Britain rather than Luxembourg. Managing director Christopher North and Rob McWilliam also resign from the board but remain within the business.

January 2015

Amazon reports modest quarterly profits

Amazon reports a net profit of $214m (£142m) in the three months to December 31, down from $239m (£158m) during the same period in 2013.

November 2014

Amazon to open Shoreditch fashion photography studio

Amazon.co.uk announces it will open a 46,000 sq ft photography studio in Shoreditch, east London, in summer 2015 to support its growing European fashion business.

Amazon hires team to test drones in Cambridge

The business declares it is hiring a team to test its unmanned delivery aircraft in the UK and advertises for a flight operations engineer, a project manager and a software development engineer to join its Prime Air team based in Cambridge.

October 2014

Amazon plans New York store

The etailer says it is planning to open a shop at 7 West 34th Street, opposite the Empire State Building and on the same street at Macy’s, which will act as a mini-warehouse to help customers with their Christmas shopping.

Amazon reports third quarter loss of £273m

Amazon reports a third quarter loss of $437m (£273m), up from the $41m (£26m) loss it reported for the same period the year before.

Amazon debuts same-day delivery service

A same-day delivery service is launched allowing customers ordering before 11.45am to pick up their orders after 4pm.

Amazon to hire 1,000 warehouse staff

The business announces it will hire another 1,000 permanent staff to work in its UK distribution centres to cope with the growing demand for online goods. The new employees will work across Amazon’s eight fulfilment centres in Doncaster, Dunfermline, Gourock, Hemel Hempstead, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Rugeley and Swansea Bay.

September 2014

Amazon to boost London workforce by 3,300

A deal is signed to open a new London office in Shoreditch, which will increase the workforce to 5,000 from 1,700 employees. The office will take up over two thirds of the 600,000 sq ft office space at the £500m Principal Place development expected to open in 2017.

July 2014

Drapers and Retail Week PayPal Etail Awards: the winners

Amazon wins Consumer Choice at the Drapers and Retail PayPal Etail awards.

Amazon launches wearable technology store

Amazon UK launches an online store devoted to wearable technology offering more than 100 different devices including smart glasses and watches, cameras and activity trackers. The store sells creations from emerging brands such as Misfit and Withings alongside the more established Sony, Samsung, Garmin, Jawbone and GoPro. It also has a ‘Learning Centre’ with product details, compatibility information, images and videos, reviews and buying guides.

May 2014

Amazon should not discount the ‘shiny’ factor if it wants to succeed

Amazon introduces a dedicated dress store. Launched with a 48-hour homepage takeover on Amazon’s UK, German and French sites, the dress store offers exclusive products for the launch. 

February 2014

Warkentin bolsters Amazon’s European fashion arm

Amazon appoints Stylistpick co-founder Juliet Warkentin as creative and brand director for Amazon Fashion EU.

December 2013

Amazon sellers hit by repricing software glitch

A technical glitch lists thousands of items on Amazon at 1p. Some firms that use the RepricerExpress software say they are at risk of going bankrupt after the system reduced prices on items including clothing because the error has resulted in them losing so much money.

Amazon UK breaks weekly fashion record

Amazon UK enjoys its biggest week ever for fashion sales by volume, selling more than 1 million items of clothing and footwear.

June 2013

Amazon wins Consumer Etail award

Amazon takes home the Consumer Choice prize at the Drapers & Retail Week PayPal Etail Awards for the second year in a row.

January 2013

Turn a page with Amazon

In a move more commonly associated with social networking sites, Amazon launches brand pages. The pages are free to set up and give brands a landing page to promote themselves.

December 2012

Amazon launches premium store

Amazon launches a new online store focused on premium women’s fashion as it also teams up with Meadham Kirchoff for an exclusive collection. The store stocks denim, lingerie, dresses and outerwear and can be found at Amazon.co.uk/premium. It sells brands such as 7 For All Mankind, Hudson, Joe’s Jeans, Pringle, Eva Franco, Mimi Holliday and Princess Tam Tam.

October 2012

Amazon considers Asos acquisition

Amazon is reported to be looking at acquiring Asos.com in a move aimed at boosting its fashion offer.

July 2012

Amazon global profits plunge to £4.5m in second quarter despite sales rise

Amazon’s global net profits plummet to $7m (£4.5m) in its second quarter, despite sales soaring 29% to $12.83bn (£8.18bn) as it continues to invest in its business.

June 2012

Amazon to offer click and collect via Co-Op

The Co-operative partners with Amazon to host its collection lockers in store.

May 2012

Drapers and Retail Week PayPal Etail Awards: the winners

The etailer wins Consumer Choice Award at the Drapers and Retail Week PayPal Etail awards.

September 2011

Amazon installs collection lockers in office blocks

Collection lockers are installed in office blocks in London in a move to make deliveries more convenient.

September 2011

Amazon to launch order collection lockers in UK shopping centres

Collection lockers are launched in London shopping centres in what is the etailer’s first physical manifestation in UK retail.

May 2011

Amazon hires Drapers executive editor

Amazon UK appoints Drapers’ executive editor Jessica Brown as head of fashion for its fledgling clothing business. Brown joins the etailer in the third week of July.

February 2011

Amazon ramps up offer with lingerie

A branded lingerie offer is launched on Amazon’s UK site, which sees it go head to head with N Brown’s Figleaves business. 550 lingerie styles are uploaded from leading brands such as Gossard, Wonderbra, Panache and Charnos.

July 2009

Amazon to buy Zappos

Speculation mounts that Amazon is set to buy US footwear website Zappos.com for around $927m (£562m).

October 2009

Amazon UK launches footwear website Javari

Amazon UK launches its standalone footwear and handbag site Javari.co.uk. Amazon has sold shoes since 2007, but says a standalone site will enable it to attract a larger range of brand names.

October 2009

Amazon UK to offer free delivery on all products for Christmas

Amazon UK offers free delivery on all of its products in the run up to Christmas. The etailer scraps the £5 threshold customers used to have to cross to qualify for free deliveries.

January 2011

Amazon MD Brian McBride steps down

Amazon UK managing director Brian McBride steps down from his role for health reasons. McBride, who joined Amazon UK in January 2006, said: “It has been a privilege to be at Amazon for the past five years and it is time for me to focus on my medical condition. I will soon begin treatment for prostate cancer and my doctor is optimistic about a positive outcome. I will truly miss the entire UK team but this is the right time to hand over the reins.” Vice president for media products Christopher North takes over the reins of the etailer’s UK operations.

2008

Amazon launches UK clothing site Amazon.co.uk/clothing 

2007

2002

Amazon expands beyond books and music in 2002 and launches an online clothing store on its US website.

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