August 15, 2023: Amazon scraps several private label clothing brands, which include the plethora of products sold by third-party sellers, retailers, and household names; Amazon also deals in in-house goods, similar to a store brand. Amazon’s private label brands have expanded rapidly over the years, including Goodthreads apparel, Rivet furniture and Presto paper towels, and Amazon Basics batteries.
Matt Taddy, vice president of Amazon Private Brands, said in a statement that the company has looked to eliminate some in-house products after determining they didn’t resonate with customers.
The company didn’t say how many private brands it plans to eliminate. Only some brands are expected to be cut, leaving Amazon with fewer than 20 house brands initially reported in the news.
Amazon is significantly paring back its apparel and furniture brands, some of which will remain on its site until they run out of stock, the Journal reported, citing information familiar with the matter. The move is part of Amazon’s broader cost-cutting initiatives but also in anticipation of a possible long-awaited antitrust lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission, the Journal said.
CEO Andy Jassy has been aggressively slashing costs across the company as Amazon reckons with an economic downturn and slowing revenue growth. Jassy has targeted some of Amazon’s more unproven bets, such as grocery and devices while freezing corporate hiring and slowing warehouse expansion. The company recently laid off 27,000 employees as part of its history’s most significant job cuts.
Amazon’s private label business landed it in the crosshairs of antitrust regulators after third-party sellers raised concerns that Amazon executives improperly accessed merchant data to develop their competing products. Brands have accused Amazon of copying their products and pricing them at levels that make it difficult to compete.
The issue came to a head during a 16-month investigation by the House Antitrust subcommittee into competitive practices at Amazon and other Big Tech companies.
When asked about the practice, Amazon founder and then-CEO Jeff Bezos said, “What I can tell you is, we have a policy against using seller-specific data to aid our private label business, but I can’t guarantee you that that policy has never been violated.”