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Amazon Launches Fashion Subscription Service Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe

Amazon.com jumped into the subscription-retail game when it introduced Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe on July 30.

The retail giant’s personal shopper will be made available through its Amazon Prime subscription service. It will be able to be accessed through the Amazon application, according to an Amazon statement.

Amazon’s subscription service will work with emerging brands as well as established lines such as 7 For All Mankind, Calvin Klein, Levi’s, AG Adriano Goldschmied, Rebecca Taylor, Champion, Adidas, as well as the retail giant’s house brand, Amazon Essentials. To participate, Prime members will pay $4.99 a month for the Personal Shopper service. They’ll also fill out a survey that will reveal their style and fit preferences. Then Amazon’s human stylists and the retailer’s algorithm will put together boxes filled with fashions for each individual subscriber.

Developing a subscription-retail service is a good idea, said Syama Meagher, chief executive officer for the Scaling Retail consulting agency. It’s been embraced by people who do not live in major metropolitan areas and may not have easy access to new fashions. “It will grow similarly to how the outlet business has grown,” she said.

Years ago, many dismissed the outlet business, but the public voted with their dollars and gave a lot of support to the off-price outlet stores. Currently, many brands make products specifically for outlet stores. Meagher forecast that eventually brands will make product specifically for subscription services.

Meagher also forecast that specialty retailers would not find a lot of competition from Amazon’s new services. While Amazon has become a dominant force in commodity retail, she said that it hasn’t emerged as a major competitor in specialty. “Fashion shoppers want to have a curated experience. Amazon was built for commodity products. It’s a marketplace,” she said.

While Amazon built its initial reputation on being a disrupter and driving physical bookstores out of business, boutique stylist companies may not be affected by Amazon’s new subscription service, said stylist Nicole Pollard Bayme.

She did not think Amazon would compete with her Los Angeles–headquartered luxury-fashion styling firm Lalaluxe. “My customers are accustomed to a level of service, creativity and personalization that Amazon could never emulate,” Pollard Bayme said. She is founder and chief executive officer of Lalaluxe.