Ralph Lauren’s Amazon pilot is going well, but fakes a concern

Looking to expand its sales channels, Ralph Lauren recently started to sell its mid-tier Chaps range through Amazon – but it still has qualms about broader collaboration with the online retail giant.

The luxury fashion company been very happy with the performance of Chaps on the platform, according to its chief executive Patrice Louvet, but expanding that relationship will depend on making sure the brand’s integrity isn’t undermined.

“We are continuing our dialogue with Amazon,” said Louvet on Ralph Lauren’s second-quarter results call this week, when it reported a  1,6% in revenues to $1.7bn, mainly driven by Asia and pegged back by revenue declines though bricks-and-mortar stories in the US and Europe.

Extending its presence on Amazon beyond the Chaps pilot will depend on four key principles, he added, namely: “brand building presentation; pricing integrity; making sure that no non-authorized third-party sellers or counterfeit products are available on the site; and working with the partner on access to consumer data.”

Amazon has been under fire from some brand-owners in the fashion industry over what they claim is a failure to take action against counterfeiters on some of its platforms, in particular its Canadian, UK, and German sites.

A few weeks ago the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) requested those sites be included in the next Special 301 Notorious Markets list, which identifies foreign physical and online marketplaces that the US Trade Representative (USTR) considers engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting.

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