Internet company Amazon is reportedly investigating a move into the sportswear market in what could create a major new competitor to the established players in the industry.
The Bloomberg news agency, citing people familiar with the matter, said Amazon has engaged Taiwanese clothing manufacturers Makalot Industrial and Eclat Textile to assist in the effort. Makalot currently produces clothing for Gap, Uniqlo and Kohl’s, while Eclat is an existing supplier to US sportswear giants Nike and Under Armour.
Bloomberg said the project is new, meaning that long-term contracts have yet to be signed. The manufacturers are said to be producing small amounts of product for Amazon as part of a trial.
Amazon has previously made inroads into private-label fashion, offering office clothing, jackets and dresses under brands such as Goodthreads and Paris Sunday.
Bloomberg also noted that the company has been hiring staff with knowledge of the private-label athletic apparel market. In January, Kirsten Harris joined the company as a senior brand manager for Amazon active apparel, having previously headed up product development at Nordstrom’s activewear brand for women, Zella, following roles at Eddie Bauer and Nike.