Why Amazon might want to buy a giant British luxury fashion retailer

Fashion AMZNAmazonHere are some of the dresses Amazon’s selling on its site

Amazon is in talks to buy the London luxury fashion site Net-A-Porter, Women’s Wear Daily reported Thursday morning.

Although both Amazon and Net-A-Porter declined to comment, the move would align with Amazon’s recent taste for the couture.

Fancy clothes and accessories certainly aren’t the first thing to come to mind when you think “Amazon,” but the company has been revving up its focus on luxury fashion since 2012, when it started signing contemporary and high-end brands, including Michael Kors and Vivienne Westwood.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told the New York Times in 2012 that the company wanted to dive into high-fashion in particular because the gross profit per unit was much higher for luxury clothes (it makes much more money off a designer dress than a hoodie). In 2013, Amazon said fashion was its fastest growing category.

Since then it’s done more to cement itself as a fashion retailer continues, like hiring a Vogue editor to run its fashion site in February and announcing plans to sponsor a Men’s Fashion Week in New York later this year.

If Amazon did buy Net-A-Porter, it would be all set to shoot the original photography and videos it prides itself on: It plans to open a fashion studio in London this summer.

This isn’t the first time the London e-commerce site, which says it has over 2.5 million visitors a month, has been rumoured to be on the market. Net-A-Porter was supposedly in sales talks with online retailer Yoox in 2013, The Telegraph reports, although it shot down those rumours at the time. The site wasn’t profitable as of last September, but insiders tell The Telegraph that it could be valued at around $US1.5 billion.

Regardless of whether or not a deal happens, we’ll continue to watch Amazon’s increased high-fashion ambitions:

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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