Amazon has never been shy about selling its own products. Whether in electronics, apparel, cosmetics, medicines, food, furniture, pet products, or more, the company had at least 80 of its own product brands as of October 2018, according to Business Insider.
Like so many other companies before it, Amazon is getting other companies to provide the development and production muscle, according to the Wall Street Journal. The big difference is time. Instead of taking a year or two to bring a new line on, the process happens within three months.
Some of the participating brands to date are Equal for non-sugar sweeteners, GNC and its nutrition products, and Tuft & Needle, which makes mattresses.
Retail stores have long tried to develop brands that appear to be products of independent national companies. Target has used the concept effectively for many years. Walmart’s Jet.com launched its own brands of household items and food in 2017. And then there’s Ikea, which you could say has been one massive private brand.
Amazon (AMZN) has done the same for years. The innovation here is the speed with which a new product brand can be created and launched. “We had to take what would normally be 12 to 24 months of development to 90 days,” Brian Huff, North American president of Merisant US, which makes Equal sweeteners, told the Journal.
With such a quick ramp-up, Amazon can identify trends and introduce its own brands, which frequently are top sellers in their categories. And that will mean some swift pain for other retailers and national brands.